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KIM NEWMAN ANNO DRACULA Carroll & Graf, 1992

 

An excellent example of how to write an alternative parallel history fantasy horror novel. It is criminal that this classic of the genre is often out of print. In Anno Dracula, the Count has survived the final efforts to kill him by Jonathon Harker and Van Helsing as they achieved in the Bram Stoker version of events. He has gone on instead to flood the world with vampires, so much so that everyone knows that they exist. When Prince Albert dies, Queen Victoria does not mourn and grieve for the rest of her life. She remarries into Transylvanian Royalty, taking Dracula as her new husband. The vampire lord has effectively conquered London. He does not turn everyone into vampires. Having some humans about proves useful to him. However, he has a problem. Someone is a murdering vampire left right and centre. The killer has a media nickname, Jack The Ripper. The investigation into the killings involves the assistance of one Doctor Seward, a forgotten survivor of the Harker-Helsing attack team. This creates a big problem for Seward, as he is in fact, Jack The Ripper himself. The story mixes historic and factitious figures from Victorian literature seamlessly in a gripping horror thriller. The story echoes elements of the Fritz Lang Movie M as criminal overlords, Moriarty, Fu Manchu, Raffles, et al help the police track down the killer. Seward finds the net closing around him, though the human police are sympathetic to his crusade, they do want to uphold the law as well. The net closes inexorably around him. If there is a flaw it is that Dracula himself only appears fully in the brilliant closing chapter when the policeman who killed Seward goes to the Palace to get a reward for his work. Appalled by the state of affairs, he kills the human Queen Victoria, an act that cuts the Count off from the Royal bloodline of the English Throne. This novel screams with invention and novelty on every page and proves to be a terrifiic addition to any collection of Dracula tales. It demands a reprint edition and a film version. http://www.johnnyalucard.com/fiction.html

 

Copyright. Arthur Chappell

                                   

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