Third installment of Schiefelbein’s gay vampire series (Vampire Thrall, 2003, etc.), featuring beautiful people, evil deeds and plenty of sex.
Victor and Paul, the blood-drinking couple, run Dies Irae, a private sex club in Georgetown that looks like a mad interior decorator’s gothic fantasy. They may be gay, but they’ll suck on anyone: In the opening scene, Victor is in the middle of ravaging a woman from the club when Paul—only recently undead and a little inexperienced—interrupts to ask for help with a college boy he’s bled to the point of death. (They try to avoid killing their victims, so as to avoid awkward police investigations.) Schiefelbein doesn’t much bother with plot; rather, he strings together incidents detailing the pair’s decadently sinful life. A current of anti-religious fervor bubbles throughout, springing from Victor’s past as a Roman soldier in Nazareth. He tried to have his way with Jesus, who didn’t want him; Victor’s resulting, insatiable hatred of all that is Christian causes friction in his otherwise passionate relationship with Paul, who takes issue with Victor’s sadistic, game-playing revenge on a pair of priests who object to the blasphemous decorations at Dies Irae. Schiefelbein doesn’t have much of a handle on his characters: Victor’s egomaniacal self-regard and capacity for rage quickly become tiresome, and Paul seems less like Victor’s moral conscience than an insecure brat. Some relief is provided by the wonderfully campy Sonia, a Romanian vampire and former nun with the dark sense of humor that Victor absolutely lacks.
Shallow characters in search of a story.