Murder in Old Blood Review
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In the year 1794, Christopher “Kit” Landless decided to rob Honoria Neville, and it cost him his mortal life. Reborn into darkness, Kit walked the Earth for centuries with Honoria as a vampire. For over 600 years, they traveled the world as companions. Later, they traveled the galaxy after the planets were made habitable.

Vampires lived in harmony with the breathers (non-vampires) for decades, until the massacre at Bethel. But after getting caught in a flashflood with no way to get to the blood bank, vampires swooped down on the tiny village in West Virginia and ravaged the inhabitants. Only one little girl survived.

Considered unsafe to walk among the breathers, all creatures of the night are now forced to live in a prison surrounded by a moat—because vampires can’t cross water, without great pain, unless traveling in an enclosed vessel. They can no longer travel, and blood is brought to them on a regular basis through transfusions. During one of those transfusions, someone slips in silver nitrate and murders one of the vampires. Not long after, another is murdered in the same matter. Coincidentally, both vampires had taken part in the massacre at Bethel.

Police Chief Cardin asks for Kit’s help, and Kit becomes involved with a breather named Kathryn who threatens everything—including his relationship with Honoria—but he’s powerless to stop, as night after night they share a bed while investigating the deaths of the two vampires.

I haven’t read a vampire novel this good since Ann Rice’s Interview with the Vampire. Like Lestat, Kit is both good and bad, but you can’t help liking him no matter what he does. Though these creatures are unnatural—and, to a certain extent, evil—you still care about their fate.

Some scenes involving sex and violence are graphic, but not overly crude, and they weren’t just thrown in for gratuitous purposes. Each scene moves the story toward an explosive and bittersweet end.

Ms. Sweeney brings a wealth of imagination to Murder in Old Blood, and I found myself wanting more after I read the last page. The ending has a surprising, but plausible twist. This is an author to watch; she’s sure to go places in the vampire genre.

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