Reviewed by Karen Stevens
Captain John Redlaw is a member of SHADE, the Sunless Housing and Disclosure Executive, whose job is to police the vampires or â€˜Sunlessâ€™ who live in ghetto areas of London and the other major cities of the UK. Despised and feared by the general public, the Sunless survive on a diet of bovine blood, but when the vampires riot and the humans respond with violence of their own, Redlaw finds himself trapped in the middle of a powerful conspiracy to provide a final solution to the Sunless problem.
Redlaw is a hard-edged, action-heavy novel with vampires that are more nosferatu than Dracula â€“ no teenage girl would swoon over these bloodsuckers. Redlaw himself is a dour, honourable hero, the sort of person one admires rather than likes, but he wins the readerâ€™s interest and empathy thanks to his grim determination and sense of justice. The description of a present-day London with immigrant vampires detained in filthy council estates is realistically realised and some of the events and groups mentioned seem to be a dark reflection of our modern society. Lovegrove has a terse, clear prose that suits the pace and style of the story and carries the reader rapidly along; itâ€™d be possible to polish this book off in one or two sittings.
All in all a stonking good read and a refreshing change to the paranormal romance that seems to dominate the bloodsucking genre. Buy it, read it, enjoy it.