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Becker, James - 'The Nosferatu Scroll'
Paperback: 480 pages (Nov. 2011) Publisher: Bantam ISBN: 0553825143

James Becker does it again, with another simply amazing story that is full of imagination and originality. This time he moves away from a religious theme and tackles vampires instead. Again we catch up with police officer Chris Bronson and his ex-wife, Angela Lewis, as they unwittingly get caught up in something after innocently stumbling across a couple of dead bodies while on holiday. This case is particularly full of danger and intrigue, as well as the ever-fascinating attraction of the idea of blood sucking vampires and whether or not they actually do exist - and not the tame 'vegetarian' modern version either; the real McCoy that sucks humans dry of their life blood and feasts upon rotting flesh. Awesome!

Bronson and his ex-wife Angela seem to be getting on extremely well these days and have gone on holiday together. They have decided upon Venice and are just venturing into a graveyard with the locals, to celebrate The Festival of The Dead, when they discover a desecrated tomb and an ancient female skeleton that has been weirdly tampered with; it's head has been cut off and a brick shoved into its mouth. After the police have been called and the dust has settled, the pair head back to their hotel and Angela reveals she has taken 'something' from the tomb. This 'something' is an ancient diary, written by the deceased woman, that describes the location of a scroll that contains some deadly secret. While looking for clues to the whereabouts of this scroll, Bronson is assaulted in the street and then Angela is kidnapped. To make matters worse, young women have been going missing across the city and then turning up dead some time later. Bronson knows that he has to find Angela before she becomes the latest victim of the unknown killer(s)...

Becker has that rare gift of making his books easy to read, so that you can whiz through them and keep pace with the fast-flowing plot, but also writes them extremely well and uses vivid descriptions that, mixed with his wonderful ability to weave a tale around a fascinating topic, keeps the reader happily distracted for the few days it takes to read the book. Vampire stories are always popular and the twist at the end of this one will have you gasping with surprise.

The question is, will you still want to visit Venice after you've read this story?

As with all James Becker books, this one comes very highly recommended from me. I am already waiting impatiently for his next offering!

Amanda C M Gillies, Scotland
January 2012

Details of the author's other books with links to reviews can be found on the Books page.
More European crime fiction reviews can be found on the Reviews page.

last updated 6/01/2012 15:51