This is my second Sedgwick novel after enjoying The Monsters We Deserve so much.
The novel is about the relationship between a father and son who have moved to a village where strange things start to happen after they bury a dead woodcutter. The book goes back in time to the oldest vampire myths of undead corpses and the folklore surrounding them. The details of superstitions and rituals surrounding undead corpses are fascinating and I reckon Sedgwick spent many, many hours researching this book. Don’t be put off if you are not keen on vampires as this is not the traditional, Victorian, melodramatic, pale man in a dinner suit. These characters feel real and take us back in time to a more superstitious period of Eastern European history – early 17th Century to be exact.
Although I have never been to early 17th Century Eastern Europe, Sedgwick captures it exactly how I would imagine it would have been. It’s not a book to read in the middle of summer though – there is a lot of snow!
I really enjoyed this book not just for the storyline of vampires and gypsies but mostly for the research Sedgwick has included. The details about undead corpses and the historical facts are what I enjoyed most. I am definitely becoming a big fan of Sedgwick and will read more of his books. However, I don’t think I want to read any more in this particular series (there is at least a sequel). I think the book stands well on its own and I have no desire to know what the characters get up to in the future.
Would I recommend it? Yes, it’s a fairly fast read, the atmosphere is perfect, the details draw you in and it is Hallowe’en soon.