Posted by: Gregg | September 5, 2006

The Nymphos of Rocky Flats – Mario Acevedo.

Granted, I don’t normally pick up books that sound like the title of a bad Russ Meyer movie, but of late I’ve been buried under a small mountain of academic articles for school, and dammit, I needed to give my brain a break.

This is a vampire detective novel, which apparently are all the rage these days. With a title like this, I was expecting something silly, bizarre, completely off-the-wall, and perhaps something with a naughty part or two as well. (Again, just to give my mind a break. Not for any other reason. Nope. Not at all.)

What I got was not silly or absurd at all. Well, yeah, the story does deal with a Latino vampire who falls for a forest dryad while investigating a Department of Energy site where all the female employees suddenly get nymphomania and might possibly have to do with a government conspiracy and the remnants of the UFO crash at Roswell, but oddly enough, the book treats all this seriously. And it works.

The Nymphos of Rocky Flats is Acevedo’s first novel. The book’s protagonist, Felix Gomez, was bitten while serving in Iraq and now uses his vampiric powers on a strictly freelance basis. He won’t drink human blood, however, because of the innocents he killed in the war. He gets pulled into Rocky Flats by an old military contact, and while at the Colorado base, Gomez unravels a government conspiracy. Even though the vampire story is all but a tired cliche by now, Acevedo breathes some new life into it (pun not intended. Really!) and writes this story not with a smirk and postmodern yeah-yeah-we’ve-all-read-this-before wink to the reader, but as an entertaining, witty thriller. The ending falls a bit flat, but since Acevedo is making Felix Gomez into an ongoing series, what little mess he leaves can be easily cleaned up in the next book. Two fangs up!

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