Tuesday, March 26, 2024

The Gathering

The Gathering by C. J. Tudor
4/9/24; 352 pages
Penguin Random House

The Gathering by C. J. Tudor is a so-so procedural set in Alaska where the investigation looks into a murder that may be a vampyre slaying. It is a mystery buried under a lecture.

In Deadhart, Alaska, a fifteen-year-old boy is found murdered. His throat was ripped open and his blood was drained. Residents blame the Colony nearby, a place where vampyres reside and want a cull of the vampyres. However, in 1983, the Vampyr Protection Act was enacted and declared them a protected species. An expert is called in, homicide detective Barbara Atkins, who has her PhD in forensic vampyr anthropology. She will investigate the murder and, if she determines a vampyre is responsible, she can authorize a cull. The residents are angry and want retribution.

Barbara Atkins is an interesting character and the ending makes it clear that a sequel should be expected.

This wasn't a favorite Tudor novel. First, as a British author, perhaps look a little bit closer into the culture, word usage, etc. in the USA. Then, yet again I need to caution an author to keep their personal political/social views on contemporary topics to themselves as it diminishes and dates the novel. Additionally any lecturing in a novel to your readers is also disconcerting. The polarization presented early on in the novel targeted specific religious and political groups was an off-putting distinction that made this an almost DNF. Making different groups you perhaps disagree with the antagonist and stand-in for fear, racism or discrimination between people was unnecessary. Thanks to Penguin Random House for providing me with an advance reader's copy via NetGalley. My review is voluntary and expresses my honest opinion.

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