Tor, Apr 2009, $24.95
In 1915 in Passelwaithe Wales, Judge Sir Francis Colby agreed with the villagers’ claim that Baron Rudolfo Zginski was a vampire since the accused did not breathe or have a pulse. Although some of the myths re vampires proved false, a crucifix was thrust into the heart of Rudolfo. The Judge buried the corpse where he felt no one would find it in his home state of Tennessee.
Six decades later, Tennessee pathologist Dr. Rosberry performs an autopsy on a man with a crucifix sticking out of his remains. When she removes the stake, Zginski awakens but is crazed with a need for blood; he drains the doctor. To survive in this modern world, Zginski must learn the common technological advances; when he finds a vampire nest living in the shadows, he knows who will teach him. He selects Fauvette turned at fourteen years old as his guide to 1975 America. Soon Zginski is shocked with what the young vamps believe is deadly as the Lugosi-Lee legends (after his first time) has become the fact. He offers to train them in remedial and advanced vampirism, but they must become his loyal subjects. Most refuse as products of the social unrest of the times make "slavery" unacceptable. However, Zginski will soon be tested when Fauvette is snatched.
The time and place are keys to this unique vampire thriller as Zginski who was an egomaniac for centuries in his previous existence has to adapt to the radical changes WWI and WWII brought and more so to the strong civil rights movement (just a few years after the assassination of Dr. King). Thus Zginski instead of being a king of the local vampires as he expects becomes more of a fatherly mentor to the ignorant brood. Alex Bledsoe has written a terrific unique urban historical fantasy as the aristocratic displaced lead character finds life in 1975 Tennessee is not simple or anything like his past and has a major impact on how the newbies think especially the innocent the charmer Fauvette.