Rulers of Darkness

Steven Spruill

St. Martin's Press. $22.95

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 not.

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 killer.

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 alien.

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

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