"Hello, I'm Nina Parker...and I'm an alcoholic." For Nina, even in recovery, the truth of the declaration has demolished her hopes and condemned her to return to the town she ran away from nearly two decades earlier-Abbey Hills, Missouri. But the place she once called home is no safe haven.
A ritualistic-style murder.
Animals disappearing from the Ozark reserve where Nina works, and turning up slaughtered.
And someone-or some thing-watching Nina. Wanting her. Stalking her with a 250-year-old desire that burns like a raging wildfire.
Nina's ex-husband Hunt shows up, hoping to protect Nina and Megan, the angry teenage daughter who followed her to Missouri. But another man has entered the picture, testing Nina as she attempts to walk the tightrope of recovery-and the power of thirst.
Much more than Nina Parker's love hangs in the balance. The battle between love and obsession is destined to unfold to its startling, unforgettable end.
The expansion of the Christian horror genre, the proliferation of vampire lit and a couple of vampire precursors aimed at Christian readers make this Christian vampire hybrid inevitable; also inevitable will be comparisons to reigning vamp-lit queen Stephenie Meyer, starting with the book's cover. Nina Parker is a recovering alcoholic trying to put her life back together after an alcohol-fueled divorce and professional negligence as a veterinarian. Nina returns to her hometown to live with her sister, the town police chief, with her alienated teenage daughter, Meagan, in tow; the unfolding backstory of her youth explains her alcoholism. A mysterious and attractive neighbor of Nina's sister complicates the action, as do ritualistic deaths of people and animals. The novel has some technical problems: the narrative shifting of time and viewpoints could be clearer; ex-husband Hunt's point of view on the action is weak. The redemptive arc that evangelical Christian novels require is natural for a story of recovery; its full implications will surprise some readers and leave others unpersuaded. Despite some narrative flaws, Bateman has written a page-turner with a compelling vampire character that will set evangelical Christian readers talking.
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October 04, 2009
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