The Gathering, C.J. Tudor

The Gathering opening lines: It would be wrong to say that life had passed Beau Grainger by. Beau Grainger had ambled along steadily, without excitement or drama (for the most part), but also without bitterness or rancour.

The Gathering

My blurb:

Barbara has been sent to Deadheart because a child has been murdered. For all intents and purposes, it looks like a Vampyr murder. And as a forensic anthropologist, Barbara has to decide whether the colony can be culled. There are 672 living people in Deadheart, and it appears that some are not who they seem. And too many people know more than they should. Can Barbara see through the personal feelings everyone has about the Vampyr’s to do what is right?

The Gathering

In a small Alaskan town, a boy is found with his throat ripped out and the blood drained from his body.

The brutality of the murder chillingly echoes a killing from twenty-five years ago.

Out-of-state detective Barbara Atkins is brought in to assist the sheriff, Jensen Tucker, who investigated the original case.

However, the inhabitants of Deadheart believe they know who is responsible: one of the nearby vampyr colony who live in an old mining settlement deep in the mountains.

Barbara is under pressure to authorize a cull of the entire colony,

But the evidence doesn’t stack up, people are lying, and the more Barbara and Tucker delve into Deadheart’s history, the darker the secrets they uncover.

As the snow thickens and the nights grow longer, another teenager goes missing and body parts are found.

Time is running out for Barbara and Tucker to find the truth.

Are they hunting a cold-blooded murderer, or a bloodthirsty monster? And which is more dangerous?

My verdict:

Wow! That is the one word I will use to describe this novel. It took me until the last page to unravel the story within the story. Which really made this an excellent read. Working out who is living, and who is vampyr, will keep you hooked. The read was made even better as I loved the TV series Let the Right One In which, if you have not seen it, is really worth watching.

About the Author:
C. J. Tudor’s  love of writing, especially the dark and macabre, started young. When her peers were reading Judy Blume, she was devouring Stephen King and James Herbert. Over the years she has had a variety of jobs, including trainee reporter, radio scriptwriter, dog walker, voiceover, television presenter and copywriter.
She is now the Sunday Times bestselling author of The Chalk Man, The Taking of Annie Thorne, The Other People, The Burning Girls and The Drift. All of her books are in development or optioned for TV, and The Burning Girls debuted on Paramount Plus in 2023.
She is also the author of a short story collection, A Sliver of Darkness.
Publishing information:
ISBN 9780241486276
Format Trade Paperback
Published May 2024

Penguin Random House South Africa sent me this novel to review.

See the links below for blog posts I published on July 7:

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