(Fall River Press, March 31, 2020)
Meet Count Dracula: Within, stood a tall old man, clean-shaven save for a long white moustache, and clad in black from head to foot, without a single speck of colour about him anywhere. His demeanor is distinguished, to be sure, but don’t let his unassuming guise fool you. Beneath his aging Goth façade there beats the heart of a bloodthirsty predator. Actually, his heart doesn’t beat all! Dracula is one of the Un-Dead, a centuries-old vampire who feasts on blood and whose very existence is a crimson stain on the discreet English society that he invades. Spawned in the fervid imagination of author Bram Stoker and first published in 1897, Dracula has served as the literary model for more than a century of vampire fiction written in its wake. It’s the story that first familiarized readers with the vampire and all of its supernatural powers: its ability to transform into a bat, to command armies of vermin, and to sustain its immortal life on the blood of helpless victims. It’s also the story that informed readers of the vampire’s vulnerabilities—its aversion to the holy cross, its powerlessness in sunlight, and its assured destruction by a stake driven through its heart. Here is Stoker’s canonical novel, packed with hair-raising moments that have thrilled readers for generations: Jonathan Harker’s near-fatal rendezvous at Castle Dracula in the Carpathian Mountains of Transylvania; Dracula’s ravenous rampage following his insidious infiltration of Victorian London; and the breathtaking pursuit of Dracula back to his lair, led by that most fearless of vampire killers, Abraham Van Helsing. But, hark! Do you hear the children of the night? That music they make is the siren song of all things unholy and profane. So grab your garlic, clutch your cross, and prepare yourself for an encounter with evil incarnate. Don’t say we didn’t warn you!