Vampire$ is an Urban Fantasy novel by John Steakley. Vampire$, Inc. is a small group of hardy individuals who will solve your vampire problem for you in return for a monetary consideration. (They generally make a point of capturing at least one vampire intact and not finishing it off until the cash arrives, in case anybody gets the bright idea that it's no longer necessary to pay them now the vampires are gone.) Early in the novel, the hunters destroy a nest of vampires who, unknown to them, are minions of a vampire mastermind, and shortly thereafter they find themselves going from vampire hunters to vampire hunted.
The character focus is initially on the leader of Vampire$, Inc., Jack Crow, but later shifts to an old acquaintance of his named Felix who joins the group partway through the novel, finding in vampire hunting a use for a gift that has plagued him his entire life: he has perfect gunfighter's instincts, and is incapable of firing a gun at anything and not scoring a direct hit — which sounds good, except that he's not a homicidal maniac and his perfect gunfighter's instincts have no grasp of the concept of "shoot to wound".
Vampire$ inspired the film John Carpenter's Vampires, which takes the basic concept of a group of professional vampire hunters attracting the attention of a big bad vampire and runs with it in a completely different direction.
Vampire$ provides examples of:
- Blessed With Suck: Felix is the best marksman in the world. The "suck" part is that his natural shooting skills are always shooting to kill.
- Deconstructed Character Archetype: The Gunslinger, with Felix. His capacity to never miss unfortunately doesn't comes with a "stun" mode, so to speak. He will always shoot to kill, in spots that guarantee an Instant Death Bullet, even if he doesn't wants to. Which means that he's useless if it's a situation where you need to Shoot the Hostage or perform any of the regular "non-lethal" types of trick shots.
- Despair Event Horizon: Jack Crow struggles with the fear that the vampires will inevitably win in the end; eventually, he loses hope and commits suicide-by-vampire.
- Fantastic Catholicism: The Catholic Church is directly involved in vampire-smiting.
- Improbable Aiming Skills: Justified and deconstructed with Felix.
- Ironic Name: Felix ("happy, fortunate") is The Eeyore of the cast and is Blessed With Suck.
- Lucky Charms Title: Vampire$
- Revolvers Are Just Better: Deputy Kirk used a revolver (.44 Magnum to be precise).
- Who You Gonna Call?: Vampire$, Inc.