cover image Hide Me Among the Graves

Hide Me Among the Graves

Tim Powers. Morrow, $25.99 (528p) ISBN 978-0-06-123154-4

The vampiric specter of John Polidori, who published the first work of vampire fiction in 1819 and died a probable suicide in 1821, haunts 1862 London in Powers’s stellar supernatural thriller, a sequel of sorts to 1989’s The Stress of Her Regard. In particular, Polidori menaces his nephew and niece, pre-Raphaelite artist Dante Gabriel Rossetti and his poetess sister, Christina, who turn for help to reformed prostitute Adelaide McKee; Adelaide’s veterinarian lover, John Crawford; and Edward John Trelawny, who, like Polidori, was a member of the Byron and Shelley circle. Polidori is plotting with other members of his ancient race, the Nephilim, to victimize not only the families to which they’re attached but the city’s entire populace. Powers works an impressively original variation on the vampire theme, and makes the Rossettis’ crusade extremely poignant through the revelation that they are their most creative only when under the vampire’s malignant influence. The meticulous attention to historical and literary detail grounds the story solidly in its period and enhances its imaginative reach. Agent: Russell Galen, Scovil Galen Ghosh Literary Agency. (Mar.)