From the Author
If you love horror in the tradition of Stephen King, you will love this book. That is, I like to think that it's both frightening and literary (Stephen King is grossly underappreciated in that regard).
If you love horror and Venice, then you're in for a double treat.
The novel is set in Venice, a city of astoundingly beauty, while at the same time containing many dark corners, particularly at night. In writing this story, I strove to bring out both.
My inspiration for this story was the discovery of a particular skeleton on an island in the Venetian lagoon where they buried plague victims during the plague of 1576. The skeleton was that of a woman. What was unusual was that the gravediggers had stuck a brick in her mouth.
They thought she was a "shroud eater." A creature that to a large degree had caused the plague, but worse, while in the grave they were eating the flesh of the other corpses. If they consumed enough of these, they would rise from the grave as a vampire.
The term "shroud eater" referred to the fact that the burial shroud had been eaten away at the mouth, and there was blood there.
Consequently, I made the antagonist (and a number of his friends) shroud eaters, with my own little twist.
I hope you enjoy reading A Beast in Venice, and don't be afraid to drop me a line.
Michael E. Henderson