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 Baker's hardcover debut, a formidable variant on the vampire theme, is an expansion and rewrite of a 1982 paperback Dhampire. When his wife is murdered, David Bathory--who keeps snakes and smuggles cocaine for a living--finds that the family he has tried to deny has caught up with him. One of his ancestors was Dracula, you see, and some of the family are vampires now. Others may become ``dhampires,'' which, though not vampires themselves, can achieve control of vampires belonging to previous generations of the family. Drawn towards the ancestral home, David meets the beautiful Dara, a soul mate and, it turns out, his sister. While making love, the two are possessed and forced to perform sex magic acts that empower one of David's family; subsequently, Dara vanishes. At first, David suspects his brother Michael of nurturing dhampire ambitions. Unfortunately, uncle Stephen is secretly controlling Michael; Stephen has captured Dara and also controls Alexandra, David's dead wife, who's now a vampire. Swiftly defeated, then shackled, beaten, and raped, David must place his hope in the Naga serpent magic he has inherited from his mother. Bloody and caustic, unsparing of detail, yet well handled and persuasive. Should do well with splatterpunk/vampire fans and other readers with stomachs at least as strong as their curiosity.

Pub Date: April 1st, 1995
ISBN: 0-312-85868-X
Page count: 320pp
Publisher: Tor
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1st, 1995