“Dead Asleep” by Jamie Freveletti, “Blood Riders” by Michael P. Spradlin, “The Janus Reprisal,” by Jamie Freveletti, “A Wanted Man” by Lee Child, and “Hell is Empty” by Craig Johnson

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Can I tell you how much I hate vampires, vampire movies and vampire books? Holy Pizza and Beer – and really what could be more holy–how did these nonexistent creatures become so freakishly popular? My abhorrence is only slightly less than my detestation for “artisan vegetarian wild goat cheese pizza” cooked over “fresh organic buffalo chips” at restaurants that don’t serve beer.

Dead Asleep

Then a world famous novelist, Jamie Freveletti (selected to help keep Robert Ludlum’s Bourne series alive – more below—and the outstanding author of The Covert One Series) jumps on the band wagon and writes “Dead Asleep.” (Coming from Harper Collins in October for $9.99, 403 pages, paperback.) www.jamiefreveletti.com.Which is a darn vampire book!

Apparently this “walking undead” thing is serious.

But at Grit-Lit we don’t care because we hate these ghoulish, blood drinking, stumbling things. Then I read “Blood Riders” by Michael P. Spradlin. (Harper Collins $7.99, 388 pages, paperback.) www.michaelpspradlin.com.

About fifty pages in I realize it’s a gol’ darn cowboy and VAMPIRE book. I wanted to cry.  I felt like Superman in love with Raquel Welch wearing a Super Glue installed Kryptonite bikini.

Spradlin hooked me and he’ll hook you. Worse than a Jenny Craig survivor dependent on a conniving Godiva Chocolate dealer.

Blood Riders

“Blood Riders,” is an outstanding Western with detective Allan Pinkerton (yes, that Pinkerton, the bloomin’ most famous detective since Holmes). Spradlin’s hero, discredited U. S. Cavalry Captain Jonas Hollister, has been rotting in a Leavenworth prison cell. His crime: lying about the loss of eleven soldiers under his command…who he claims were slaughtered by a band of nonhuman, blood-drinking demons. Pinkerton and the President spring him to fight the evil undead with garlic, wooden bullets, holy water filled ammunition and fire, fire, fire.

If you’re a speed reader and you’ve got a night to lose “Blood Riders” will be the best ten bucks you spend this month. Unless they start serving slices of New York Cheesecake with a juicy pastrami on rye and a beer for $10 at your favorite eatery.

But wait, there’s more.

The Janus Reprisal

“The Janus Reprisal,” by Jamie Freveletti. (Harper Collins $26.99, 356 pages, hard back.) www.jamiefreveletti.com

More Bourne. Better than ever. Great author. No vampires. What more do you need to know?

“A Wanted Man” a Jack Reacher novel by Lee Child (Delacore Press, $28, 405 pages, hard cover.) www.facebook.com/LeeChild.

Never thought a Jack Reacher novel would be third in a column. And even in my paranoia fueled nightmares I never thought it would follow two vampire books.

But here’s the important part. In “Wanted” Reacher’s as good or better than ever. Which is good—very good. All seventeen Reacher thrillers have been optioned for major motion pictures. In fact, the Reacher series is so good Tom Cruise is starring in the first movie.

Arggh!

Do you think Reacher is so strong, so heroic, he can rescue Tom Cruise’s career? Is Cruise such a great actor that at a rumored 5 foot 5 he can play the six foot five, 250 pound plus Reacher? Childs says he can. Grit-Lit says gotta see it to believe it.

Odds might not be with the movie, but the book is box-office-gonzo. Spend twenty-eight bucks on Reacher and you can’t go wrong.

Hell is Empty

In keeping with our theme of cowboys and lone tough guys, meet Walt Longmire. “Hell Is Empty,” by Craig Johnson. (Penguin, $14, 309 pages, paperback.) www.craigallenjohnson.com.

Grit-Lit first met Longmire on TV’s A&E. Where Robert Taylor is better cast as an Absaroka County Sheriff than Tom Cruise is as Reacher. Course under those guidelines, Herve “The plane, the plane” Villechaize could have played Superman.

“Hell” is the seventh in the Longmire series. For more than thirty years he’s been keepin’ things orderly. But now he’s stretched to his limits. A sociopath has confessed to murdering a ten-year old and burying him in the Bighorn Mountains. Walt trails him through a blizzard guided by Indian mysticism and a battered paperback of Dante’s Inferno (sounds unlikely, but it works).

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