by Lucius Shepard
Shepard is a hell of an author. in The Golden, he almost appears to be slumming a bit... but shepard slumming is better than many a hack's best efforts. this novel combines vampires, police procedural, and historical fiction in an elegant little mystery set in the 19th century, in one of the most foreboding, mindboggling, and just plain gigantic castles this side of Gormenghast. which of the nefarious vampires slaughtered the lovely Golden before her decanting? what a waste of a ceremonial victim and certainly an upsetting way to start a vampire reunion! edgy new vampire and former detective michel is tasked with finding the killer. for such a slim tale, the mythology is notably complex and the basis for and origin of vampirism is like nothing i've read before. the prose is gorgeous and ornate, the mystery absorbing, the inevitable love story both romantic and fascinatingly sick. overall: slim... but rather brilliant.