RARA-AVIS: Re: occult PIs

From: JIM DOHERTY ( jimdohertyjr@yahoo.com)
Date: 10 Jun 2008

Mark, The TV series Angel, about a vampire PI (I think it was spun off from Buffy the Vampire Slayer) has been novelized (or perhaps just "tied-in") by Max Allan Collins in a series of paperback originals. Given my own biases, I feel compelled to mention a few of police procedural novels with occult elements. Les Whitten's The Progeny of the Adder, a Doubleday Crime Club edition from the mid-'60's, is a DC-set cop novel in which the Metropolitan PD's Homicide Squad is on the trail of serial killer.  It starts out as a straightforward, Dragnet-style police procedural, and then, as the cops learn more about the killer they're pursuing, morphs into something else.  It may remind you a bit of Jeff Rice's melding of The Front Page with Universal Studios' horror line of the '30's and '40's, The Night Stalker, featuring a reporter rather than a PI or a cop, but it predated both the novel, and the TV-movie and subsequent series that novel inspired.  Whitten also wrote another occult-themed cop novel, this one with a rural setting, called Moon of the Wolf, which also became a TV-movie. David and Aimee Thurlo have begun an occult-based cop series featuring Navajo Lee Nez, a New Mexico state trooper, who is attacked by a Nazi vampire during WW2 and becomes one of the undead.  Years later, Nez, now immortal thanks to his undead status, rejoins the New Mexico State Police as "Leonard Hawk."  There are, so far, two books in the series, Second Sunrise and Blood Retribution. JIM DOHERTY


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