Review Blog

Jun 12 2009

The Reformed Vampire Support Group by Catherine Jinks

cover image

Allen and Unwin, 2009.
ISBN 978174175672 2
Highly recommended. Picking up a Catherine Jinks novel is akin to eating Haighs chocolate. The richness is overwhelming and while it is in your hands, you are very aware that this is the best. There is nothing like it, it will stay with you and keep on nourishing you a long while after it is finished. And reading this pushes all other vampire novels which have littered the scene lately, simply out of your head.
The group meets every Tuesday evening with Father Ramon for support and companionship. Their lives are not those of the mythology, they are despondent, some almost wishing death, fed up with their diet of guinea pigs, and the continual cramping and illness which pervades their nights. The young girl, Nina, is one of the last to have been infected by Casimir, who arrived from Europe in the nineteenth century. Several of their number tracked down all those infected by Casimir and gathered them together to support each other so they would no longer go out and fang people.
But one day they find Casimir has been killed. The usual things have happened: a silver bullet, a stake through his heart, head removed form his body, leaving behind just a pile of ash. Stunned they set out to investigate the murder. This takes Father Ramon, Nina and Dave to Cobar in the west, and they uncover an appalling pair of men who have live bait fighting on their farm. But not dogs or cocks, they have found a werewolf and it is this young man who is forced to fight, each full moon. for vast amounts of money to enrich his captors.
Laugh out loud, clever, witty and with a vocabulary that warms the soul, The Reformed Vampire Support Group is magnificent. Each of the characters is sharply defined and the reader cares about what happens to them all. Full of heart stopping escapades, I read this book everywhere but the shower, as I followed Nina and Dave in their quest to hunt down the killer.
Fran Knight

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