01/11/2011. Contributed by J.L. Jamieson
pub: Solaris/Rebellion Publishing/HarperCollins. 318 page small enlarged paperback. Price: GBP 7.99 (UK), $ 7.99 (US). ISBN: 978-1-907992-04-9).
check out website: www.solarisbooks.com
Referred to as Sunless in polite society, vampires are treated as less than second class citizens. Herded into ghettos, they are watched over by the Sunless Housing and Disclosure Executive (SHADE). Captain John Redlaw is SHADE’s most known and feared veteran. Redlaw walks between the cultures protecting humans from vampires, and vampires from humans.
Something is causing the vampires to riot and humans are responding with predictable violence and hatred. Redlaw knows something isn’t normal and he naturally has to get to the bottom of things. He walks directly into the chaos.
What he finds are animalistic creatures driven out of control. The one vampire who remains in control raises some very interesting questions and Redlaw is forced to confront the reality of who is more savage: the vampires or the humans?
‘Redlaw’ is an action-packed novel with fast pacing and James Lovegrove drives the story with a gritty, principled cop character that evokes the image of the usual protagonist of most popular action films. He takes no prisoners and no guff. Redlaw dives right into the danger, ignoring directives from superiors in order to find the truth. It makes for a somewhat predictable story and Redlaw a predictable maverick cop character. It doesn't make it any less an enjoyable read, however.
The same thing that keeps us watching action films keeps this a page-turner you won’t be able to put down. The characters are classic, making us cheer to see the good guy do what’s right in spite of the danger. We also look on the bad guy with disgust, once it’s clear who the bad guy really is. Lovegrove adds another dimension to the story, one of human hatred, greed, and prejudice. The overall theme is one that examines humanity’s treatment of difference. History shows us that humans have a nasty tendency toward ethnocentrism with extreme prejudice and this story is no different.
A visceral vampire tale that doesn’t sparkle and an entertaining read.
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