Friday, August 3, 2018
The Quick by Lauren Owen
James Norbury grew up, isolated, in the English countryside with only his sister, Charlotte, for friendship and affection. Their mother had died and their father had little time or interest in them and left them to be raised by the servants. After his death, they moved out of the huge mansion that would be James's when he was grown and into the cottage of their caretaker. There James lived until he went to college. Afterwards, in the late 1800's, he made his way to London.
He didn't have to work but wasn't as wealthy as many of the men he went to college with and now encountered in London. James shares rooms with Christopher Paige, a man from a wealthy family who is well established in London. They slowly build a friendship. Then the unimaginable happens. The two are walking in the streets when they are set upon by a man. After the encounter, Paige is dead and James awakes to find himself kidnapped. To his utmost horror, his captors are a society of those others call vampires and James has been unwillingly brought into their number.
In the meantime, Charlotte has made her way to London to find James after her letters and telegrams go unreturned. She finds him in the worst situation imaginable and in the midst of an epic struggle between those belonging to the upper reaches of society who are vampires and those in that category from the lower classes. The two sets are determined to eradicate each other and then there are vampire hunters also. Somehow Charlotte must weave her way between the rivalries and try to save James. Is it even imaginable that she can?
The Quick is a debut novel, the title referring to everyday humans who are known as the quick by those who hunt them. Lauren Owen has managed to recreate the misty London which always seems so mysterious and slowly build tension as the two groups fight their battle for supremacy. This book is recommended for readers of horror and mystery fiction.