A dangerous virus brings deadly consequences to a small town in Maine. During Black October, faced with the threat of being turned into a super-strong blood-sucker, schoolteacher Kate naturally decides to get out of town. Along with two friends, she heads for a safe place to hide – but the vampiric menace has far-reaching consequences that will change her life forever.
I’m not a great lover of vampire stories, particularly those that simply churn out the same old bitey routines over and over. However, I’d read an earlier version of this book (originally titled Succedaneum’), and thought the author had an interesting take on what’s become a bit of a tired genre. With this rewrite, Jacky Dahlhaus has produced a clever and witty novel, creating a bunch of interesting and quirky characters who grabbed my attention by doing exactly what I didn’t expect.
I loved the rapport with the three teachers, especially the rather complicated relationship between Charlie and Kate, and I liked the way the characters developed over the course of the novel. The story surprised me several times, going in directions I hadn’t anticipated. It’s also very funny, which added a nice tongue-in-cheek feel to the book. I’ll happily admit that Ms Dahlhaus is no Anne Rice or Stephen King, but she writes a damn good tale of vampires, with plenty to get your teeth into.