Let’s get the preliminaries out of the way, shall we? I’ve known the author for about 15 years now, so we’ve been friends for a good long while and compared notes on stories throughout our friendship. We have a loose collaboration in that sometimes I mention De Omori in some of my stories as a nod to him, and he sometimes mentions Tilwick in his stories as a nod back. We both appear in the anthology Kill For A Copy a horror publisher with whom we both have ties.
And after all that, I still hate this book. Just kidding! But you do need to know all of that before you read my honest review. David and I have always been clear on that, if the book isn’t up to scratch, we review and rate accordingly – it’s our duty as professionals to work that way.
Still here? Let’s get into it, then.
First of all, this book is the first adult horror outing for some characters set up across the Young Adult targeted Rise of the Vampire trilogy. I enjoyed that trilogy immensely, as do a great many other adults, so I was interested to see how he would make the leap into full-on adult horror.
Well, he doesn’t pull any punches, that’s for sure. David has operated on the fact that if you can read, you can read that the other books were ok for your teens, and this one isn’t aimed at them until they’ve grown up a bit.
De Omori, the vampire-hunting organisation of David’s work, send an operative to investigate a spate of brutal killings that have gripped the nation and spawned copycats. The investigation begins in north-east England and De Omori have specified that a disgraced policeman is reinstated to help on the case. That policeman, Will Hunter, seems to have an uncanny skill for seeing past the facades put up by the everyday human, and understands the darkness they keep inside. It gave him an incredible conviction rate until one fateful case ended his career for him. De Omori need him to use that skill once more and an uneasy partnership forms between Will and heroine of the original trilogy, Eve Evans, now a fully-fledged, battle-scarred agent.
Several characters draw us into Ravensdowne and as we wonder how an easily solved case related to the town of the title, all hell breaks loose and the duo are re-assigned. That’s when the story really kicks into gear and all of the unrelated characters you are introduced to start to click into place.
With the police overcome and the Army struggling to keep a lid on the disaster at Ravensdowne, only Eve and Will have the abilities needed to identify friend from foe. Of course, dealing with the foes is another matter, in a town devastated when the creatures who are the ancestor of the humanoid vampires are unleashed, spreading their venomous bite to create an army of blood-sucking killing machines.
Packed with suspense, splattered with gore and rammed full of action, Ravensdowne is one horror adventure you certainly don’t want to miss.