This is a more than a fantastic vampire novel, it's a great story. Though they frequently protest it, the vampires in this book are still very human in their emotions and motivations, and the hero, James Asher, has done enough evil in the name of Crown and country to be able to relate to them.
Hambly is a wonderful author who makes you truely care about her characters. This is something of mystery - horror - fantasy mix, hunting vampires in Victorian England. Not my favorite of Hambly, but still fun.
I was surprised how much I liked this book. Somehow I thought it had been written in the dark ages, but it's actually relatively recent. And the story line was quite intriguing. From the first words I was hooked.
I only got this book because I thought it might be one I had read years ago. It wasn't but it was a good choice anyway, and I've ordered the sequel.
From Publishers Weekly
In her hardcover debut, Hambly ( Dragonsbane ) will give Ann Rice a run for her money. Oxford professor James Ahser, once an agent for the British government, is forced to help the vampires of Edwardian London, who are being destroyed one by one through exposure to sunlight as they lie sleeping in their coffins. If she does not oblige, his young wife, Lydia, will perish as have many other vampire victims over the years. Accompanied by one of the oldest of the vampires, Simon Ysidro, who has lived in London since the time of Elizabeth I, Asher begins his investigations, learning about the life and culture of vampires. Meanwhile, Lydia, who is one of the few women physicians of the era, prowls through old property records and medical journals attempting to find other clues. Asher comes to suspect that the killer is a vampire, an unusual one who can live in the light of day, and Lydia develops a reasonable physiology that would account for the ability. Hambly's examination of vampirism is beautifully detailed, with a fine, realistic background and strong sense of atmosphere. Her characters are finely honed, particularly Don Ysidro, the vampire with a sense of noblesse oblige.
Copyright 1988 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Who's been killing the vampires of London, tearing open their coffins to let in lethal sunshine as they sleep--and then drinking their blood?
"Hambly's examination of vampirism is beautifully detailed, with a fine realistic background and strong sense of atmosphere...Will give Anne Rice a run for her money."--Publishers Weekly
One of the best historical vampire/mystery novels I have read