Steven Spruill's Rulers of Darkness is a
tensely paced vampire/police thriller that also explores the limits
of a father-son confrontation and a longing to be human when you're
Police detective Merrick Chapman is assigned to a serial killing
in which the victims have been drained of blood. He knows who the
killer is, but must be careful since he himself is a vampire.
Complicating matters is Katie O'Keefe, Merrick's former girlfriend,
involved by chance and finding that all clues point to Merrick as the
Despite the cliched title, Rulers of Darkness is an
engaging, well written book, serious but never too grim or gruesome.
The plot is tightly constructed and ending revelations well
established. Merrick and Katie are strong, sympathetic characters
caught in the anguish of their personal drama as well as the events
of the investigation; the villain, while despicable, is not entirely
Best of all are the delicate touches of introspection that add
unexpected depth to the novel. What is the relationship of predator
to prey? What morality is involved in letting a vampire live or die?
Can a vampire love a normal person?
Can a vampire be human?
More about Merrick Chapman:
Daughter of Darkness. Doubleday, 1997
Lords of Light. Forthcoming.
Steven Spruill's web page
Other Vampire Reviews
This review copyright 1996 by Wendy Morris
Information last updated March 22, 1998