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Reviewed by Johnny Masiulewicz for Readers' Favorite
Nick Wittier has recently taken up residence in the central Illinois town of Starside. He is a research doctor at the local hospital and is on the verge of making a stunning medical breakthrough that will bring an end to a deadly scourge. Nick Whittier is also an accomplished lawyer, a well-respected police officer, and a 671-year-old vampire.
Drawn by the relative obscurity of the town, Nick knows Starside is small enough to eschew the hustle of big city life, yet large enough for him to safely keep his three careers separate. He sets up his law practice, walks a third shift beat on the police force with his partner Jasmine Johnson, works diligently on his virus research, and occasionally kills and feeds on a local. Through his research, he discovers that the curse which has afflicted him for over six centuries is caused by a virus, and he has come close to formulating a vaccine and a cure for it. Yet before he can make that final breakthrough, his research is derailed by a number of occurrences that threaten to endanger the entire town. Nick must reveal his true identity to those closest to him and enlist their help.
Deftly crafted and packed with action, gore, and just the right amount of laughs, Dark Moonlighting is an exceptional read due to the author’s treatment of the overall subject matter. Nowadays, the key to getting valid mileage out of the well-worn vampire mythology is to rewrite or readdress the myths themselves. Treating vampirism as a virus-induced condition is innovative, and allows Haworth’s distillation of the myths to be a predominantly physiological one. The book offers just the right amount of blood, seductiveness, and self-effacing angst, but the retooling of the mythology will definitely appeal to the more erudite and demanding vampire aficionados.