Redlaw by James Lovegrove. Book review

REDLAW by James Lovegrove. Solaris £7.99

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 ‘Sunless’ 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 – 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 reader’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; it’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.