“13 Bullets”
by David Wellington
read by Bernadette Dunne
produced by Blackstone Audio
approx 11.5 hours

If you’re tired of the recent trend of vampires being used to tell stories of teen angst or of eroticism, and think it’s time to get back to staking those bloodsuckers, then I have just the book for you.  David Wellington not only gets back to hunting down of these undead but also throws in a bit of a twist in the story that doesn’t detract from the true vampire horror fans have come to enjoy.  In fact, Wellington takes us back to the Nosferatu type of vampire, bald, rows of sharp teeth, pointy ears and pale skin.  Not only does Wellington bring back a terrifying look of the vampires, but his words create a terrifying story that will keep you looking into the shadows.

Bernadette Dunne does a smashup job of voicing this audiobook.  She not only differentiates the characters with subtle vocal changes , but she captures the mood of every scene and presents the horror with her vocal tempo.  This creates not only a great audiobook experience but also sucks (pardon the pun) you into the story so you don’t want to stop listening.

In “13 Bullets” vampires are not mythical creatures but have been known about for centuries.  The vampires in this world cannot simply swap blood to create other vampires, the victim must commit suicide to complete the transition into undead status.  The vampires also create an army of minions by bringing back their victims and creating half-deads to do the vampires bidding.  The half-deads are weak, have no skin and scare easily, but they will do the vampire’s every demand.

The story begins when a Fed named Arkeley has tracked down the vampire Lares and in the process of trying to capture him, the vamp wipes out a SWAT team and nearly takes out Arkeley.  Lares takes Arkely as his “hostage” to a boat where in 3 coffins are 3 other vampires, these vampires, however, are in a severly deteriorated condition.  When Lares begins disgorge all the blood drained from the SWAT team onto the near skeletal remains of the vampires, Arkeley realizes Lares is trying to bring back the other 3 vamps.  Arkeley destroys Lares and 2 of the remaining 3 remains.  One vampire, Malvern, is taken into custody and is being studied.     This is the opening action of this book, with the chase the fights and the horrific scenes the listener knows they are in for a great scare fest.

The book really takes off when a state trooper running a sobriety check point on a highway meets a half dead with a trunk full of dismembered bodies.  She calls in the feds and Arkeley is the one who takes over.  That night the trooper, Laura Caxton, is visited by one of the half-deads and when she tells this to Arkeley, he realizes they want more from her, but what?

Caxton and Arkely then team up to try and destroy at least 3 known vampires and “13 Bullets” will take you on a journey through some dark places and unravel a classic vampire tale.

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