From Library Journal
These days, what can a writer do to make his vampire novel stand out from the pack? In Lord of the Dead (LJ 1/96), Holland made Lord Byron one, and he brings his vampire Byron back in this new novel, narrated in part by Bram Stoker. Like Stoker's masterpiece, this book is arranged as a series of letters, journal, and diary entries. Stoker here plays Doctor Watson to a Doctor John Eliot's Sherlock Holmes. The book's opening section, though, comes right out of the movie Gunga Din, complete with a deadly battle atop a tower against the forces of Kali. But in this novel, those forces are not thugs but zombies, and Kali is not just a statue but a supernatural power who summons Jack the Ripper into the book. Holland mixes all of these associations together and serves up an entertaining concoction all his own. Literary junk food, perhaps, but you won't stop after just one bite. Highly recommended.?Charles Michaud, Turner Free Lib., Randolph, Mass.
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc.
In his previous book, Lord of the Dead (1995), Holland turned Lord Byron into a vampire; in this one, he uses the vampire myth to explore reason versus passion in Victorian England. An introductory note by "Abraham Stoker" (the book is full of literary jokes) sets the mood by warning the reader of the danger in this "body of papers," which includes chapters from a book about India and excerpts from letters and diaries. The section in India is told by a charmingly pompous British officer sent to Kalikshutra on India's border, where Russians are infiltrating. There, he meets an English doctor studying a local "disease" that seems to turn people into vampires. The action moves quickly in this section, but after 75 pages, the scene and teller shift to London and the English doctor John Eliot. He is a less humorous storyteller, but the tale builds new momentum when an old friend asks him to investigate the disappearance of her husband, who just happens to be presenting a bill in Parliament about Kalikshutra. His search leads him through the real Victorian London (meeting Conan Doyle, Oscar Wilde, and some surprises) and the spiritual world behind it. Holland does a good job of pacing the discoveries in this page-turner. Fans of vampire stories, mysteries, spiritual musings, and Victorian London will clamor for this one. Kevin Grandfield
See all Editorial Reviews