Your Daily NEL: New English Library

Cheap and Nasty Seventies Horror Pulp

Jory Sherman – Vampire

Posted by demonik on September 14, 2007

Jory Sherman – Vampire (Nel, 1981: originally Vegas Vampire: Chill #4, Pinnacle,1980)

Jillee Graham: Las Vegas Showgirl. Dead on Arrival.

Three days dead. Her body found out in the desert barely covered with a little sand.

Tammy Links: Las Vegas Showgirl. Dead.
Gale Rogers: Las Vegas Showgirl. Dead.

Cause of death: Loss of blood. All three.

The pathologist reported that Jillee had lost over four pints of blood. The body was unmarked except for a throat wound. Two deep punctures, the skin between ripped away. The veins around the wound had collapsed. The jugular had been pierced very precisely. Blood loss had been rapid. Too rapid to be explained by the natural pumping action of the heart. Half the blood in the body had been sucked out. A massive hemorrhage of the brain had been followed within moments by unconsciousness and death.

One man suspected the cause: One man Knew:

Dr. Russell V. Chillders – Chill. Psychic Investigator

He recognised the cruelly clinical mark of the feeding vampire.

The man’s a genius. This time he’s in at the First Annual Psychic Seminar in Vegas promoting one of his bestsellers to an avid audience and Laura Littlefawn when redneck cop Captain Loomis whisks him away meet pathologist Bill Patterson. Patterson would like Chill to give his opinion on the dead showgirl craze, because he has a terrible feeling that a vampire is responsible. Loomis can barely conceal his contempt – at this theory, at Chill, at psychic hocus pocus, at humanity in all its forms and, most of all, at pink clad Ramsey Bullock, owner of The Gold Dust Queen where the three girls worked. “How they can let these fags into Vegas, I don’t know. He oughta go back to L. A., where he belongs.” It is to be hoped that when he retires he moves to an English village and opens a pub.

The Gold Dust Queen and the adjoining The Silver Foxxe are linked by a secret tunnel. When Amelia Robinson, ambitious proprietor of The Silver Foxxe discovered it, she also disturbed a centuries old vampire, Edvar, all tux and opera cape, and has now struck up a deal with him whereby she feeds him chorus girls in return for his assistance in taking over the Man in Pink’s club.

Chill is having the time of his life. In the name of vampire-hunting, the sesame stick muncher gets to interview the Chorus Girls. In their communal changing room. And everybody recognises him from his chat-show appearances. On the downside, he’s also also had to endure a “boffo” set by C &W favourite Rambo Nelson at The Gold Dust Queen. For a time it looks as though he may also be due some love interest from dancer Marla, but Edvar also has designs on her ….

It’s probably not a series best or maybe I’ve just read too many vampire novels. The biggest disappointment is Edvar’s performance in the final showdown: Chill toughs him up way too easily considering the guy should have the strength of ten men. Marla makes a far better show of it in her catfight with Laura. Hal Strong, the third member of Chill’s team, gets to do some vampire research (namechecks for Montague Summers, Colin Wilson and Dion Fortune’s Psychic Self-Defence), but his main contribution is to get trapped in a lift while everyone else is having a fight to the death.


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