Reviewed by: Keith Nixon
Genre: Thriller / Occult / Vampire
Approximate word count: 35-40,000 words
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Alex Shaw was a drama teacher in an international school based in Kyiv until he left to set up his own consultancy business.
Hetman, the author’s first novel, took 12 years to write, subsequently followed up by Cold Black. Both were Kindle bestsellers.
You can learn more about the author at his website.
A Delta Force team, led by Brad Black, raid a Taliban stronghold – a tunnel of networks in the Afghan mountains. Pretty routine stuff, until the team are attacked and wiped out by something. All are presumed killed in action.
But Black survived.
At the same time a Russian intelligence officer is attempting to keep a devastating cold war weapon hidden from prying eyes.
This is a degree of departure from Shaw’s normal fare. His work is typically military (check) and fast moving (check), with an Eastern European slant (check) – but this time it includes… vampires.
Historically I’ve tended to shy away from novels such as these, however previous novels I’ve reviewed that would also fall into this ‘avoid’ section have turned out well, plus I like Shaw’s previous writing. Thankfully Vampire… held up to scrutiny.
This is mainly because the story is thick on military action and the vampire element, although crucial to the story, doesn’t swamp it. Black’s transformation into a soldier with pointy canines adds, rather than detracts.
It’s a relatively fast read (in terms of length and narrative pace) with well-drawn characters, Black’s internal conflict at being ‘turned’ is interestingly done. Worth picking up.
Some swear words.
Some typos and clunky sentences.
Rating: **** Four Stars