Live Girls (1987) by Ray Garton

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Sleazy sex vampires in 80’s New York! All vampire fiction alludes to sex in one way or another, so it makes perfect sense that these 80’s bloodsuckers have set up a strip club or two. They offer full service to discerning clientele and in return receive a ready and willing supply of the red stuff.

Hapless magazine editor Davey Owen stumbles into the nondescript Live Girls venue and is immediately smitten by the alluring featured performer who goes way further than is legal. While the bitemarks on his penis and continued bleeding cause him some worry, Davey is well and truly hooked and keeps coming back for more. Meanwhile Walter Benedek, a reporter, is investigating his sister’s gruesome murder which somehow also ties into the same sex joint. Soon Benedek and Owen are figuring out how to fight vampires. Crosses don’t work, garlic does.

Like most good horror fiction, Live Girls uses a (more or less) realistic background to root the supernatural horrors in a certain time and place. It works beautifully and gives the novel a certain degree of believability. Indeed, the modus operandi of the vampires in Live Girls actually makes a lot of sense: an industry which already operates in the shadows and involves close contact with random strangers is a perfect opportunity for someone who needs to feed on humans. The traditional method of biting the neck also seems somewhat old-fashioned after the methods employed by the Live Girls.

And how about that title? It’s perfect.

**** (4/5)