Christopher Farnsworth had done what might seem impossible: He’s merged the political thriller and the horror novel with his “President’s Vampire” series.
Beginning with “Blood Oath” and continuing through “The President’s Vampire” and “Red, White and Blood,” Farnsworth recounts the adventures of Nathaniel Cade, a 150-plus-year-old vampire, and Zach Barrows, a young political operative, who are thrown together when Barrows becomes Cade’s handler.
Since shortly after his creation as a vampire, Cade has been – thanks to a spell conjured by by voodoo mistress Marie Laveau and evoked by President Andrew Johnson – an undead servant of the occupant of the White House.
The books, although mostly set in the present-day, trace Cade’s history in the service of presidents ranging from Ulysses Grant to Sam Curtis, the Obama-surrogate in the Oval Office during most of the series so far.
Thanks to the spell, the otherworldly strong and fast Cade is bound to obey the orders of the president and his trusted operatives. In the books, this pits Cade against plotters of the political and supernatural variety – the two are often connected here – and his own set of enemies.
The latest book, “Red, White and Blood,” pits Cade against the Boogeyman, an ages-old monster that, we’re told, is the basis for all kinds of urban legends and spooky stories that range from New Orleans’ legendary Axe Man to the guy with the hook on his hand who stalks Lovers Lane.
Farnsworth’s plots are clever and thrilling as Cade and Zach maneuver their way through threats both supernatural and political, including the real-life Dr. Frankenstein and renegade CIA agents.
The author accents the stories with smart and funny references to monsters both real – Son of Sam gets name-dropped a lot in the third book – and fictional, including not only the Jason surrogates but also creatures that are sly references to movies and books.
Farnsworth’s books are a fun read for fans of Washington-based thrillers as well as the adventures of other types of monsters.