Saturday 4 May 2024

The Gathering by C J Tudor

The GatheringThe Gathering by C.J. Tudor
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - < 4 days

Pages - 336

Publisher - Michael Joseph

Source - Review copy

Blurb from Goodreads

A detective investigating a grisly crime in rural Alaska finds herself caught up in the dark secrets and superstitions of a small town in this riveting novel from the acclaimed author of The Chalk Man

Deadhart, Alaska. 873. Living.

In a small Alaska town, a boy is found with his throat ripped out and all the blood drained from his body. The inhabitants of Deadhart haven’t seen a killing like this in twenty-five years. But they know who’s responsible: a member of the Colony, an ostracized community of vampyrs living in an old mine settlement deep in the woods.

Detective Barbara Atkins, a specialist in vampyr killings, is called in to officially determine if this is a Colony killing—and authorize a cull. Old suspicions die hard in a town like Deadhart, but Barbara isn’t so sure. Determined to find the truth, she enlists the help of a former Deadhart sheriff, Jenson Tucker, whose investigation into the previous murder almost cost him his life. Since then, Tucker has become a recluse. But he knows the Colony better than almost anyone.

As the pair delve into the town’s history, they uncover secrets darker than they could have imagined. And then another body is found. While the snow thickens and the nights grow longer, a killer stalks Deadhart, and two disparate communities circle each other for blood. Time is running out for Atkins and Tucker to find the truth: Are they hunting a bloodthirsty monster . . . or a twisted psychopath? And which is more dangerous?

My Review

Imagine a world where vampires and humans co exist. Colonies of vampires are protected from being killed, a law is in place. Vampires aren't allowed the same luxuries as humans, the right to work etc. Some humans hate them, some fear them, some want to kill them like animals, some religious folks view them as evils that need rid, attack before being attacked. Detective Barbara Atkins is a specialist officer who investigates vampyr killings and who can authorise the killing of whole colonies. She takes her job very seriously and will investigate everything. Called to a small town where a youngster has been brutally killed and has all the hallmarks of a vampyr being the killer. The town has priors and are anti vampyr already so Barbara has her work cut out for her.

So whilst this is a book with vampyrs it is very much a murder mystery that happens to have vamps, they aren't the main focus although the book is very rooted in them and some shady humans. The hatred is strong, on both sides and with good reason as we find out as the story gives up its secrets and draws us in.

As Barbara tries to do her job the tensions are rising in the small town who are adamant they have all the proof they need - get it done already. Old wounds take the longest to heal, if ever and we learn quite a lot about this shady wee town and the vamps that exist in it (hard to call what they do actually living).

A whodunit crime fiction that just so happens to have vamps, crime, investigation and skulduggery around just about every corner, 4/5 from us.

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