Vampyrrhic by Simon Clark

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Source: Purchased rating

David Leppington has returned to the town of his birth to investigate the possibility of a job as a GP - and also to learn more of its history.

Bearing the same name as the town, the Leppington family used to be prominent members of the community.

But the clan has dwindled to a sole uncle who is more loner than town leader.

In this small, isolated town, people are affected by a horrendous condition. It’s Quiet. Unassuming. A forgotten backwater.

Yet beneath Leppington’s streets terrifying creatures stir. Driven by an ancient passion that has become an obsession. United in their burning hunger. They share an unending craving that will leave them in a coma unless they consume blood. They are the Nosferatu. And they have the power to drain your will to resist. To drain it so utterly that you will cheerfully, gladly, eagerly surrender yourself to their sharp, brutal teeth.

Then a terminally ill man plans an act of vengeance: to set the dead against the living, so that the whole world might experience the misery the townspeople have endured for years…

Vampyrrhic is a chilling horror-thriller that brings the well-known terror of vampires to the hitherto unspoiled lands of Northern England.

A surprisingly unique vampire romp. I expected a cheesy horror offering based on the cover, but the story was more involved than random neck nibbling, beheadings and demented evil creatures luring young maidens into their evil lairs. These vamps are tied into ancient Norse Lore, old magic, old family ties, apocalyptic past bargains made, not to mention sewer systems. Leppington has gone back to his hometown with little memory of it. Once there he finds his family line has certain family ties into the old town and legend. Staying at a hotel, he meets a group of intriguing characters who become wrapped up the weird town's history.

Simon Clark used a slow pace to entrance me. There are some genuinely creepy parts to keep the blood freezing or pumping (whatever the occasion), especially a bathroom attack and elevator trip. The vampire child helps keep the creep vibe flowing.

It's not particularly gory but it doesn't shy away - there's even a vampire blow-job scene that may make some men squeamish!

A book for any horror fan to try, but be warned a star was shaved since sometimes the 'slow, enchanting pace' became sluggish. I liked the characterization and how they tied into the story, but it wouldn't have hurt to add another dimension or two to the main players.

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