cover image His Vampyrrhic Bride

His Vampyrrhic Bride

Simon Clark. Severn, $28.95 (240p) ISBN 978-0-7278-8184-7

British Fantasy Award–winner Clark returns, in his fourth Vampyrrhic novel (after the WWII-set Whitby Vampyrrhic), to the present-day English countryside. Callow scuba enthusiast Tom Westonby falls for Nicola Bekk, a mysterious woman he sees trespassing on his family land late at night. His pursuit of her leads him to the heart of the forest and a painful encounter with Helsvir, the undead beast that protects the curse-haunted Bekks, who turn into vampires if they try to leave the woods. As Nicola and Tom fall deeper in love, the local townsfolk’s latest mistreatment of the Bekk clan and a catastrophic storm trigger the monstrous Helsvir’s wrath. There’s nothing sparkly about these vampires, and the straightforward prose is matched by the characters’ knack for plain speaking. Romantic without being soppy or sentimental, this is a palate cleanser for horror readers tired of the same old blood-suckers. (Nov.)