Reviewed by Sara Garland

It seems that there is an overabundance of vampire themed novels swamping the book stores. Where as many writers are no doubt jumping on this topical band wagon, Prouty offers a more authentic story line drawing upon the more traditional aspects of the original infamous vampire, but yet crafting a unique, yet credible and innovative storyline, whilst remaining true to vampire lore.

Recounted in the first person, this is the story of Joseph Berkley who authenticates and sells rare books. Originally born in Romania, as orphans, he and his brother were moved to Chicago and brought up there. Joseph is man of complete professionalism and integrity; however when a mysterious, wealthy client from Transylvania wishes to hire him to validate an original manuscript of Bram Stoker’s Dracula, despite all the warning signs, curiosity and greed lead him to agree to purchase the manuscript and deliver it in person.

The journey he embarks upon is not only terrifying, but places his family and friends in danger too. He is required to get by on his wits and do enough to evade his own death. Not only will he learn how much value others place on this manuscript, he learns more about his past, his almost innate ability to determine the quality and date of manuscripts and why he has been chosen to undertake this task. Moreover he learns how the impact of what he is doing could incite a family feud.

The settings and the remarkable, innovative behaviour displayed by the undead is creepy and disturbing. The suspicions of the rural Romanians are conveyed in an extremely unnerving fashion. How Joseph’s fate will end is not clear. Historical fact and fiction is carefully melded together so that the effect is pleasingly seamless. The story effortlessly gets under your skin, for a menacing and sometimes gory experience – after all impaling in vampire stories is a must. Indeed it oozes dark, sinister and chilling in generous scintillating measures. And, if you think the book sets itself up for a sequel, you will be right. It’s currently being written.

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Sara Garland

Sara works full-time within the NHS, has two children, the youngest needing to be ferried swimming 6 times per week; hence she considers building in reading time an essential component of daily life. Whereas most people cannot leave home without their mobile phone, Sara is one of those people that needs to ensure she has a book in her hand wherever she goes too!

Seeking the next compelling, memorable read is somewhat addictive. Being able to impart her views on recent books to pique the interest of other readers is something she feels privileged doing and hopes visiting readers to the site find these to be insightful and engaging.

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Arrow is one of the most successful paperback imprints in the UK. On the fiction side we're privileged to publish some of the biggest and best authors writing today - from crime and thriller giants such as James Patterson, Robert Harris, Kathy Reichs and Karin Slaughter to some of Britain's best-loved women's fiction authors: Katie Fforde, Susan Lewis, Lisa Jewell and Katie Flynn, and bestselling historical novelists such as Alison Weir and Ben Kane. And the impressive range and depth of Cornerstone's hardback imprints is well illustrated by the strength of Arrow's non-fiction list: from celebrity autobiographies from James Corden, Peter Kay and Dawn French to the high profile political memoirs of Tony Blair, Alastair Campbell and Bill Clinton.

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