Review – The ‘law’ according to Redlaw

December 10, 2011 - 12:37 am No Comments

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Author: James Lovegrove
Publisher: Solaris Books
Page count: 319pp
Reviewer: Theresa Derwin
“What the Good Lord doesn’t provide, gunpowder and the laws of physics will”.
So sayeth the law according to Captain John Redlaw of SHADE, The Sunless Housing and Disclosure Executive. The equivalent of cops, Redlaw is the most notorious of Shade officers, who is responsible for ensuring the protection and segregation of Sunless, aka vampires from regular humans or Stokers, who make a habit of dusting Sunless on a regular basis.
Redlaw is not a particular fan of the sunless, but finds himself intent on their protection and involved in a Sunless case when the vamps start rioting for no apparent reason. Redlaw joins forces with Illyria Strakosha, a mythical shtriga (super vamp) in order to get to the bottom of the riots and the political forces playing with both human and sunless lives.
The novel, which is both fun and intelligent, uses the scenario to highlight political issues such as asylum and immigration, whilst still delivering on the action. There is also a religious debate running through the novel as Redlaw confides doubts to his local priest.
The Sunless are a little more interesting than the usual vampire we have come to expect of late (there isn’t a sparkle in sight). In fact, as Redlaw points out, they are us with all of the social veneer ripped out, “the mirror we don’t wanna look at”. Finally, vamps are back and as bloody as they were meant to be, yet they remain sympathetic despite this.
If you like your vamps with teeth (pardon the pun) then this is the book for you.

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