This is the third in Kim Newman’s vampire series, following on from Anno Dracula and The Bloody Red Baron. Moving past an alternative second world war in which the allies did a deal with Dracula to ensure the defeat of Hitler, we arrive in 1956. Dracula is living in exile in Italy, and is about to marry another vampire elder from an ancient, if impoverished dynasty.
Everyone who’s anyone, living or undead is in Rome for the festivities, or for their own reasons. And someone is killing vampires with extreme force. There’s lots of adventure, lots of action and the usual welter of allusions. There’s the usual selection of real and fictional characters, including a British spy called Hamish Bond, not to mention a dodgy American who would appear to be Tom Ripley…
It’s just as much fun as the previous books, and you definitely want to read it. As with those books, this new edition comes with some extra features, most notably a new novelette which brings us up to 1968, and involves murder, Enoch Powell and yet more allusions, including more TV coppers than you might believe. George Dixon seems to have moved from Dock Green, but is as nice as ever. And bringing the allusions up to date, there’s even a vampire policeman called Herrick, which I’m pretty sure is a nod towards the excellent Being Human.
I’m declining to give away plot details, as that might spoil your fun. Watch out for the next book, which is a shiny new one called Johnny Alucard.