Published by Allen & Unwin, 5 September 2008
RRP $14.95 pb
Twenty years ago, Jameson Arkeley thought he had put the final nail in the coffin of the last of the undead, when he destroyed a band of savage vampires and imprisoned their savage leader, Malvern.
Yet, when State Trooper, Laura Caxton, makes some disturbing discoveries while investigating a seemingly routine homicide, the remains of a human massacre suggest that three other vicious vampires are on the loose.
Their purpose? To release Malvern from her prison and promulgate their terrifying race.
13 Bullets By David Wellington
The monster knelt in the mud, his balled fists punching at the ground, his head bowed. He started to get up and Arkeley shot him again. He'd had thirteen bullets to start with how many did he have left?
All the official reports say they are dead-extinct since the late '80s, when a fed named Jameson Arkeley nailed the last vampire in a fight that nearly killed him. But the evidence proves otherwise.
When a state trooper named Caxton calls the FBI looking for help in the middle of the night, it is Arkeley who gets the assignment - who else? He's been expecting such a call. Sure, it's been years since any signs of an attack, but Arkeley knows what most people don't: there is one left. In an abandoned asylum she is rotting, plotting and biding her time in a way that only the undead can.
Caxton is out of her league on this case and more than a little afraid the fed's made it plain that there is only one way out. But the worst thing is the feeling that the vampires want more than just her blood. They want her for a reason, one she can't guess; a reason her sphinxlike partner knows but won't say; a reason she has to find out or die trying.
Now there are only 13 bullets between Caxton and Arkeley and the vampires. There are only 13 bullets between us, the living, and them, the damned.
David Wellington is moving the literature of the undead into the 21st century with new levels of brutality.' LA Times
It'll have you double-checking the locks and laying in extra garlic.' Men's Health
About David Wellington
David Wellington made a name for himself in the supernatural genre with his Monster Island trilogy, which broke out as an online serialized novel before it was published by Thunder's Mouth Press. It was recently optioned by screenwriter Stephen Susco ( The Grudge ).
This book is definetly one for the traditional lover of vampires, who are evil, despicable and downright nasty creatures that don’t sparkle.
I read this book after reading my daughter’s Twilight series (which I also liked), and the contrast between Stephanie Meyer's and David Wellington's idea of vampires is pretty stark. In David Wellington's universe, there are no "vegetarian" vampires, they all need human blood, and lots of it. The vampires are very much the traditional German, Nosferatu.
So if the vampires are the bad guys, who are the good guys? Like Twilight, this book has a heroine who is the focus of the book. Unlike Bella Swan from Twilight, Laura Caxton is a grown up whose parents are dead. She is a Pennsylvania state trooper, and is a lesbian in a committed relationship. She is driven to succeed in her life, but unsure of herself because she doesn't realize her worth and her inner strength. As a person with real strengths and flaws, she is a sympathetic character, and one that the reader hopes will persevere, and survive until the next book.
The story is set in rural Pennsylvania, and anyone who has lived there will instantly understand the author's characterizations of the peculiarities of that state, especially the backwater areas where the stranger people Pennsylvanians dwell.
Not a bad read at all, I do prefer Dave’s zombie stories and look forward to some more of these in the future but will enjoy this series in the mean time.
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