As most of you know by now, vampire/werewolf literature is not really my thing. But every now and again I feel obligated to give one a go.
I tried Twilight three years ago when B14 was reading it. I read 6 or 7 chapters. I could see the appeal during the set-up stage, but by the sixth chapter I was so over Bella and the goody-two-shoes vampires, that I flung it down in disgust (unlike B14 who devoured it).
Recently I read The Hunt by Andrew Fukuda and surprised myself by how much I loved it.
So when an advance copy of ‘The Hightgate Vampire‘ came my way recently, I didn’t automatically file it away on the never-to-be-read-pile, but tucked it into my bag for later. Mostly because of the title.
When I finished uni many, many years ago, I did the usual Aussie gap year thing and spent almost a year in the UK working and travelling around Europe. The six or so months I lived in London, Highgate was my home. I walked the local street and parks daily as I took the children I was nannying to and from school and activities. Sadly, though, I only visited it’s famous cemetery once.
I loved all the local references in the book. For instance, drinking at The Flask…the pub I also drank at. The cemetery of course, plus various mentions of streets and roads I had walked down once upon a time.
And this was a good vampire story.
The vampires were mean and nasty, the way all good vampires should be. They killed people indiscriminately and they didn’t care.
Sometimes the writing and dialogue left a little to be desired, but the story itself was interesting enough to get me all the way to the end.
Bailey’s ending for poor Kathy was desperately sad and Antwain seemed to be channelling Edward from Twilight in the dying moments of the story! However Bailey wasn’t afraid to kill off main characters and there was plenty of holy water, stake and garlic action.
Recommended vampire lit for those tired of vampires with a moral conscience!
Sexual references and drinking alert as well.
Kathy Bilic is adopted. Until now, she’s had only a vague memory of her real family. But terrifying dreams and visions of her sister Amber are waking her in the night. When Amber starts giving her messages, Kathy gets a sickening sense that her sister is in danger – from a deadly, inhuman source. Kathy hits London to find her sister – but when she arrives at her aunt’s house in Highgate, she is actively dissuaded from pursuing the mystery.
Undeterred, Kathy’s trail leads her through a bloody murder in the British Museum to a charged meeting with the mysterious, hypnoptic Antwain and a final confronation with her sinister father. Before long, Kathy uncovers the full horror of her heritage and her sister’s fate at the hands of the Vampire of Highgate.
Gripping, atmospheric and sexy, this is British horror at its best.