*A peer of the realm dead in his study, his body drained of blood *
* A tango club where the Undead and the living dance together *
* A 500 year old policeman *
Are some crimes best left unsolved?
Read on Kindle, kindly sent to me by the author in exchange for an honest review.
Published in February 2021, Something Wicked is a contemporary fantasy which takes place in modern day London. It begins like a run of the mill whodunnit murder mystery with police being called to the murder scene of Lord Christopher Penrith by the victim’s butler. Chief Inspector John Galbraith is in charge of the case but there are few leads, apart from the possibility that the victim could have met his murderer at a Tango club he used to frequent.
The tone of the novel changes with the introduction of the tall, dark and sinister Chief Inspector Pole from the mysterious ‘Department S’, who takes Chief Inspector Galbraith to Brompton Cemetery. There he reveals that he is in fact a 500 year old vampire and that the victim was killed by another vampire. His role is to police the ‘Others’ as the vampire community like to be referred to, and ensure no one discovers their existence or the crimes they commit.
The story is full of detailed historical information imparted by Pole, since he has been around for a very long time, which I enjoyed immensely. I also liked the way when he was talking to Galbraith his voice would send Galbraith into a kind of trance from which he would experience a detailed vision of the story the vampire was telling him. The author is very talented with descriptive detail and the scenes he paints come alive.
It transpires that Pole is employed by the crown, dating back to King Charles II. He accompanies Galbraith to the tango club, La Cieguita, where Galbraith believes the murderer may have met his victim and together they interview a young woman, who unfortunately also becomes a murder victim soon after their encounter.
Galbraith is a likeable down to earth character in his 40s with a penchant for quoting Shakespeare. A self-proclaimed “old fashioned copper”. The development of his relationship with Pole as they work together is interesting and at times fun. They get along fairly well and behave like a tag team during the interview of John Bates, their prime murder suspect.
Together they hatch a plan to tie up all of the loose ends surrounding the case and this leads to an exciting and explosive conclusion back at Brompton Cemetery.
I have not read any vampire stories for a few years having been put off by the famous sparkly vampire. This story was very enjoyable and a fairly quick read.
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About the Author
Tom Williams used to write books for business. Now he writes novels set in the 19th century and books about vampires that are generally described as fiction but which are often more realistic than the business books. The stories have given him the excuse to travel to Argentina, Egypt and Borneo and call it research.
Tom lives in London. His main interest is avoiding doing any honest work and this leaves him with time to ski, skate and dance tango, all of which he does quite well. In between he reads old books and spends far too much time looking at ancient weaponry.