In this first of what looks to be an excellent series, Victorian England has vampires at every level of society, especially the higher ones, and they engage in incessant intrigue, power games, and casual oppression of the weak--activities, as we know, that are all too human. Numerous characters from literature and from history appear in both major and cameo roles. Spectacular fight scenes, stormy politics, and a serial vampire killer keep the action lively. A scholarly bibliography is included.
This was one of the most disappointing reads I've had in a long time. I had heard nothing but praise for this vampire novel but I don't understand why that is. The writing, IMO, was so bland and uninspiring I barely dragged through page 49 before I decided I could take no more. Mrs Newman seems to be in love with hyphens, so much so that I counted 11 on one page alone. So many words were hyphenated: new-born, un-dead, curly-haired, knee-tremblers, desk-banging, boot-leather, bread-knife, vampire-slayer,after-darks, tea-bowls...and on and on and on. It was distracting, to say the least. Too many sentences dragged on or made no sense and I found my mind wandering more than once. I couldn't care for any of the protagonists and I certainly didn't care to know just who the Silver Knife murderer was.
Maybe I can try and get into this another time but, for now, it's a DNF.