By Michael Romkey
Fawcett Gold Medal Books, 291 pp,1997
I did something with this book I have not
done in ages. I read the whole thing in one day. I started it on a
Saturday morning and finished it Saturday night. I can't remember the
last time I did that.
It's not like I planted my butt in the
couch all day. I got other stuff done. I worked around the house. Wrote
some book reviews. Finished a first draft of a short story. Grilled
steaks for dinner. Yet I somehow found time to read 291 pages. Go
So why did I read this quickly? That's a
good question. Maybe it was so good I couldn't put it down. Maybe the
writing was excellent and flowed so well it was a pleasure to read.
Maybe I read too much.
It's the latter two reasons, actually,
because the book itself isn't that good. But Romkey is a good writer and
I enjoy his style, so it was still an enjoyable read.
But about the book itself. It's his
fourth vampire novel and only loosely tied to the previous three.
There's no David Parker, no Mozart, no Medusa. Beethoven is in it,
though. He's the only Illuminati vampire to make an appearance.
The plot is simple. A centuries-old
vampire lives in the Central American rain forest, guarding over ancient
ruins. This vampire owns a sprawling estate and employs local Indians to
run it and serve his every need. An American archaeologist babe is
killed by a mysterious virus when exploring the ruins, thus prompting
another American CDC babe to investigate.
There are other characters, as well, too
many in my opinion. The priest who is losing his faith (gosh, never
encountered that character type in a horror novel before), a sorcerer
type guy who hates the vampire and wants to kill him, and the owner of
the only hotel in the nearby town.
That's all I can bear to describe,
because the story is rife with inconsistencies and twists that make no
It's not Romkey's best book, but I
haven't given up on him yet. I plan to read the next one, The Vampire
Hunter, if it's in my local library. If not, then it may be a while
before I get to it, because I'm not sure I want to buy it.