Ben Ashton, a writer who deals with the paranormal, is the
ideal candidate for his magazine to send into London to uncover
the truth behind the hundreds of bits of graffiti all of which
have a single message "VAMPIRE SHARKZ. They're coming
to get you". His former girlfriend, April, is having
a much worse day. Attacked by the Thames she awakes on an
island surrounded by mutilated others, under the blinding
light of the moon...
London Under Midnight is the new novel by Simon Clark,
who has carved a successful niche for himself as a writer
of predominantly vampire books. Without giving too much away,
it would seem that an African deity has chosen London to test
humanity. Some may feel that this is an odd choice and a little
too contrived, however it must be remembered that this is
a fantasy book and if you can suspend belief long enough to
accept vampires then why not African deities. From a personal
point of view it makes more sense for Clark to set it in London,
a place he is more familiar with, than say Johannesburg.
does a fine job of bringing out all the gothic possibilities
of London's streets. I grew up there, but this book has put
a whole level of scary onto my memories. Mostly it comes from
his ability to write very graphic, visceral scenes of death,
gore and horror. Not a book to be read just before bedtime.
His characters are well fleshed out and engaging enough for
you to care what happens to them and the pace of the book
is nice and tight. I particularly like Elmo, an aged African
who sits atop a poll in a boat telling passers by that the
end of the world is coming. With the help of Elmo and Trajan,
April's unfortunate boyfriend, Ben sets off to save the world
in eleven days, but then he can, he's a writer with an expense
a nice if scary read, a bit like The Stand only shorter.