Thursday, January 31, 2008

The Vampire Of New York - Lee Hunt


The Vampire Of New York
Lee Hunt
Signet

Horror/Paranormal

In 1863, a passenger ship from England is thrown onto the rocks off of the Newfoundland coast. Many passengers perish, including a young man from Ireland, Enoch Bale. Enoch didn’t drown. He was cast adrift with a nobleman who was chased out of England and his native Walachia; and is now hunted for his assumed guilt in the death of Abraham van Helsing. Count Vladislaw Draculiya spares Enoch the fate of drowning or bleeding to death from his wounds; he gently takes the boy’s lifeblood, then assumes the boy’s name to begin his new life in North America.

In New York, Echo van Helsing and her young brother, Matthew, have arrived. Echo is chasing Draculiya, intent on making him pay in kind for the death of her father. They’re joined by Pinkerton operative Kate Warne. Mrs. Warne does her job very well, even if she has to do it disguised as a man. Together, they set out to solve a string of seemingly related homicides that bear a strange similarity to the deaths in England.

In the present, Dr. Carrie Norton works as an urban archaeologist; she makes sure a site is clear of artifacts or skeletons before development begins. The site currently under consideration was a tenement during the Civil War, and his body remains. The black man is wearing a Union naval uniform, so Carrie is hopeful that she’ll be able to identify him fairly quickly. She’s joined by Detective Max Slattery of the Cold Case Squad. This case seems pretty cold. Until bodies start turning up with similar injuries.

The story is presented in alternating chapters, with both stories running in parallel. Far from being confusing, the author uses this technique to great effect. Juxtaposing old New York with present day New York is quite interesting, especially when locations overlap. The story begins with a couple of action sequences that grab the reader’s attention immediately. From there on, the pages practically turn themselves. If you’re a fan of the Dracula legend, you won’t want to miss this one.

Rating: 7 ½
January 2008
ISBN# 978-0-451-22279-4 (paperback)

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