The House of Caine
Tor, Jul 5 2011, $14.99
In 1966 after a decade away, thirtyish Miami herald reporter Rob Martin, accompanied by his friend Larry Campbell, returns to his hometown Millhouse, Connecticut on a short visit while on the way to interview Robert Kennedy. However, he finds his hometown affirms Thomas Wolfe’s belief You Can’t Go Home as Millhouse seems different, edgier and more dangerous.
When Larry vanishes, Rob searches for him unaware of what is going on. The town’s first family Norris and Julia Caine ruled Millhouse like benevolent despots when they were breathers; now vampires they rule the town like it is a large blood bank though they and their loyal human servants selected loser loners. However, some of their bites have turned into undead with no thought of stealth dining as people who will be missed are assaulted. Rob, trying to save his high school sweetheart Elizabeth Arbor, and his best childhood friend Tony Rizzo abetted by a few other humans begin a counterinsurgency.
The House of Caine is an entertaining metaphoric historical vampire thriller that will remind readers of Stephen King’s Salem’s Lot; whereas Ken Eulo’s tale comes across as a historical while Mr. King’s classic is a 1975 contemporary. The story line is filled with action, but at times bogs down with references to the chaotic times especially Vietnam though in fairness the chaos of social reform is the underlying message. While Rob seems inept as a journalist unable to grasp what is going on amidst the corpses, readers will enjoy visiting The House of Caine in Connecticut as Ken Eulo takes his audience on a tour biting tour of a schizoid year.