Vampire (van Helsing Diaries Book 1) - Peter Cawdron

A literary classic that should be made into a movie ... wait a moment, wrong book.

Why anyone chooses to write about vampires in 2015 is beyond me, but here we go. Peter Cawdron did, and I read it. I knew it will scare the crap out of me, just by looking at the cover, and I was right about that.

Vampire, with the subtle (I´m being ironic here) subtitle "van Helsing diaries" reads more like a psychological crime thriller than any kind of "real" vampire story, but no worries, nothing that sparkles in any way, shape or form.

Dr Jane Langford, a psychologist, is called to action after a murder in Boise, Idaho to eval the mental state of mind of the murderer, which leads to a suicide investigation and bodies piling up fast.

Jane is the only character that is fully developed IMO while the cast of different characters are sorta there but not more, and she sure gets from all professional to (almost... almost? hard to tell) mentally breaking down. And as the center of the story she should be the one who as I reader can count on. That I can´t is the best thing, as I have to question her as well as Jane has to question what is happening all around her.

The snowy and chilly late autumn setting is marvelous, though, and gives the story this really creepy feeling and made me very feel at unease. There is an urgency here where you know something´s going to happen, and it does. The horror behind the locked bathroom door.

For a novella it sure pulls a lot of punches, but where the real genius is in the mix of Bram Stoker´s Dracula with Cawdron´s own story, where everything´s intertwined without being able to tell where reality ends and insanity begins. This is Cawdron´s strongest point here to use Dracula to not only reinterpret it in a new way (and he probably sees something in it which is not there and was never intended to be there), but to use it is a setting on it´s own, or more like a background to tell his story about.. well, a vampire, as it spelled out as the title of the book already.

But... but... but... I´m not buying it. Not completely anyway.

While the premise of the story itself is crazy fantastic there are several WTF moments. Langford doing a courtsey call to a prison after another psychologist was killed and immediately gets access to a prisoner, and even so immediately knows he is suffering from schizophrenia. Langford carrying a 45 colt in her jacket pocket which she never picked up prior and shooting it 13 times, coz why not? Fiction it is for sure.

It´s creepy as hell, and the paranoia is getting stronger with every page, all true, but I did have a hard time to overlook those inconsistencies and where Cawdron was playing armchair psychologist on his own. So torn on it, damnit. It was a fascinating read, though, and if you´re easily creeped out as I am... *shudder* The ending, however, left me unimpressed as it is really spelled out straight away, and the conclusion pretty obvious. While obvious it came rather fast too, and left the story sorta hanging in the air.

With that said, I need a Tylenol now.