The book drags on abounding in volatile idiots who are self-serving and don’t understand moral values or the choices they make and the consequences that follow. The belligerent baddie the ‘goodies’ are pitted against is an unstable, foaming, ponderous, overblown sybarite who wouldn’t seem out of place in a ‘Famous Five’ novel. The ‘goodies’ are petulant, railing, stolid, banal tools who engage in forced camaraderies and seem to regard running around Slovakia looking for kidnappers and murderers as a terrific lark.
This is oddly similar to the 1990s novel ‘The Blood Countess’ which also encapsulated distasteful subjects and a lowly set but was even worse. This book does not address the theory that the stories of Erzebet’s proclivities were a demonisation tactic used to steal her wealth and the unpleasant consequences she faced were undeserved. Erzebet is a mystifying enigma who indulges in night games, wild sex and up until now has been unaccountable. Cue psychobabble, characters with unfortunate family secrets and babbling about a Taltos. It is all phenomenally silly and disgracefully boring. To read this is to regret it, it is not taut rather an unprecedentedly boring, pandering, inconsequential tale of clinical case narcissists and their unapologetic, garish, deluded trashiness. The entire point of this book is elusive and frustratingly unclear.
“Why are you skulking around like a thief? Brush my hair!”
“How did they build straight up from the rock like that?”
“The Hungarians threw the slaves into a pit to die the moment they placed the last stone.”
“You’ll be encased in stone, the stones that have witnessed your wickedness!”
“Now I see murder spread out at my feet!”
“What wicked occupation does she practice?”
“You’re just another lot lizard.”
“Snow White never learns not to eat the apple, and her spiritual sister in fruit-based stupidity, Persephone, does the same.”
“The world is bigger, and bleaker, than they ever dreamed.”
“Heartbreak never woke the dead.”
“I was born when the Roman calendar still looked like a fad that couldn’t possibly last.”
“I used to wonder how many bodies were buried there. Now that I’ve met a few of the ghosts who haunt the waters of Buckley, I can say with authority that I don’t want to know.”
“You’re going after Bobby Cross.”