Right forget about what happened at the end of Bram Stoker’s Dracula, according to William Massa’s Fear the Light, the blood sucking Count was a bit of a globetrotter, who on his travels converted a motley bunch of followers. Now Dracula has been staked and exposed to the morning light at his French retirement château and the followers have been gathered together at the château to determine who Dracula’s assassin is. What’s going to make it that tiny bit easier is that whoever the killer is he or she is going to work their way through the lot of them before the night is out.
OK so what we have here is a vampiric permutation on Agatha Christie’s And Then There Were None, which is fair enough, after all there are only a limited number locked room mystery plots to go round, it’s what is done with the protagonists that makes each story interesting.
And we have a curious enough bunch here: Vincent the hero was a 19th century Texas Ranger; Angelique a French aristo rescued from the guillotine; Sebastian a Victorian London street urchin; Coraline a 1950s Hollywood starlet, Faust a Nazi SS officer, Rafael a knight of the Holy Roman Empire; Zane a Harley riding biker and Julian a Roman Catholic priest. Problem is Massa just does not really explore each of their characters enough to lift them beyond the stereotype. Maybe it’s because of his background as a screenwriter where the actors would get to add their own interpretation.
Now as an Englishman I also have to take issue with Londoner Sebastian’s spoken English, it’s ‘arsehole’ not ‘asshole’.
My other problem with Fear the Light is that Vincent is one of those modern vamps with a conscience like Buffy’s Angel who does not feed from humans. Sorry I just don’t buy the kind of sanitised immortal bloodsucker who tucks into rodents for his dinner, it’s not what the curse of vampirism is all about. Sure he can be troubled by his compulsion, but please don’t give him an easy way out of it.
A fair enough, if underwritten locked room mystery, but in dire need of a good editor I give Fear the Light a 333/666
Fear the Light is available as a kindle download £1.95 from Amazon or as a real book £6.99