Lucius Shepard: The Golden

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The Golden is a vampire story that mixes good old-fashioned vampires with a detective plot. The vampires have gathered to the Castle Banat to make major decisions about their future. It's the 1860's and vampires must decide, whether to remain in Europe or to flee to progress of the world to the Far East, where things might be safer for them.

However, a gruesome murder stops all that, and even though vampires are a rather cruel and violent lot, this crime is such an offense against their tradition that the guilty parties must be found. Michel Beheim, a young vampire and an ex-police from Paris gets the unpleasant job of figuring out who did it.

The vampires, scheming beasts as they are, twist the murder investigation into a vicious game, each trying to further their own interests. Can Michel trust anybody? And how can you investigate someone who's very powerful, nearly immortal and doesn't want to cooperate? It's a tough job, but Michel must figure out what happened.

The vampires are powerful people, driven by their passions. That means they're thinking about sex, pretty much all the time, and the book gets downright steamy at times. Then there's gratuitous violence, too. All the necessary entertainment, that is! Shepard's prose is baroque, which certainly fits the theme, but at times he gets perhaps too carried away. The descriptions of the Castle Banat are at some points almost silly.

The combination of a vampire setting with the detective plot does work, though. A pleasant book, if not mind-blowing. (Review based on the Finnish translation.) [ Golden at ]The Golden at LibraryThing ]

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This page contains a single entry by Mikko published on July 24, 2008 7:41 AM.

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