by Clark Hays, Kathleen McFall
Paperback, 408 pages
Published May 8th 1999 by Llewellyn Publications (first published May 1st 1999)
Courtesy of author and Bewitching Book Tourss
Reporter Kathy Vaughan unknowingly has 2,000 years of royal vampiric blood in her veins, and neither she nor her cowboy partner Tucker realize how weird their life is about to become.
The Cowboy and the Vampire opens calmly enough with the romance of Tucker, a genuine cowboy from Wyoming, and Lizzie, a savvy reporter from New York, but soon descends into a vampire kill-fest. The concept of having a salt-of-the-earth cowboy fighting against the supernatural undead works well and keeps things interesting, especially when Tucker has to go to the Big Apple look for Lizzie. It’s also nice to see his canine companion, Rex, aiding Tucker throughout his trials with the same loyalty he aided herding cattle and working the land.
Although Tucker’s character was slightly clichéd he added much needed realism to the story and occasional light moments which help break the tension. However, Lizzie’s characterization seemed all over the shop. There are too many clever things said by Lizzie which seem to be added because they sound good rather than it’s what Lizzie would have said, this could be attributed to the plot slightly but it happens throughout instead of as character development as the plot unfolds.
Unfortunately the story is let down by it’s mythology which is, frankly, awful. The primary basis for the vampire legend in The Cowboy and the Vampire is Christian and the story is weaker for it. The reasoning behind the existence of vampires seems badly cobbled together and too often preaches about the problems of modern society. The same could be said of the inclusion of vampiric menstruation which could have been an interesting concept that would be both shocking and fascinating but instead comes off as weird and confused.
Overall The Cowboy and the Vampire is a fun romp, with a big dollop of romance, which tries to show us how down-to-earth and determined people would react to the existence of vampires. The mythology may be weak but luckily the story is good enough to keep you wanting to know what happens next.