Simon Clark's newest outing, VAMPYRRHIC, delves into the strip-mined exploration of vampires but surprisingly manages to unearth a fresh take on this tired theme.
The story focuses on David Leppington who returns after a 20-year absence to his native home and becomes the unwilling recipient of an ancient family legacy. Generations of the Lippington family have operated the factory through the centuries, a slaughterhouse factory that feeds the unholy appetite of a horde of bloodthirsty creatures to this very day. Transposed with this horrific structure is the stately Station House, a hotel that houses the other characters of this chilling tale. Yet even the Station House quickly becomes eerily brooding and sinister...and soon the entire town falls victim to an evil past as village streets and subterranean tunnels run with victims' life forces and ancient prophecy. Leppington grudgingly realizes that he is faced with a choice: that of accepting his true inheritance or watching his hometown, his world, fall prey to a demonic race of seemingly immortal predators.
VAMPYRRHIC is a much quieter and slower-paced read, less overt in its brutality and violence, than Clark's earlier works. Its slow, sinister buildup demonstrates a strong, confident writer; one not frightened to stray from the frenzying formula that proved immensely successful earlier in his career. While VAMPYRRHIC may not appeal to Clark's more fickle admirers, most horror aficionados will find it a very rewarding read.