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3.29 of 5 stars 3.29  ·  rating details  ·  207 ratings  ·  27 reviews
Brian “Bad” Phelan, a New Zealand policeman and bomb disposal expert, likes to live dangerously. Bad is an expert climber and caver and, while on vacation on the French/Italian border, he helps bring a body out of a rocky, wave-swept cove. Curiously, the dead woman bears striking similarities to a young woman he met years ago, shortly before she disappeared in a flooded Fr ...more
Hardcover, 368 pages
Published April 1st 2003 by Ballantine Books (first published 2003)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 408)
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I picked this up almost entirely randomly at the op shop while my husband was taking too long finding toy musical instruments. I loved the Dreamquake series, so figured I might as well give it a go.
The pacing and structure of this book is strange and - for me - utterly absorbing. It's slow and wanders back and forth and in and out in a way that struck me as very adult: Knox trusts us to pay attention, to notice small asides that prove integral to the story, to stick with the unusually large cast
Found this at my local library in the horror section. The only thing horrific about it is how slooooooooooooooooowly it is paced. I was nearing the halfway point before the author finally got out of the exposition.

Giving the autor her due, she has come up with an interesting & unique take on vampires. However, the characterisations for the most part are so bland that it's really hard to care about them.

Unless you are "hardcore-must-read-absolutely-everything-vampire", I say skip it.
Melinda Jane Harrison
4.5 Stars

Fascinating story told within a set of flashbacks that work as nested stories, providing a rich and thick history about a group of vampires living in the south of France. These are some of the most original and interesting vampires, but you really don't want to know them too well. The center thread works around two people, Bad Phelan and Daniel Octave, the former a caver and policeman, the latter a priest who works in history and testimony for Sainthood. The two are them are interested
Exhausting to read.
This is the fourth of Elizabeth Knox's books that I've read, and it confirms that her biggest strength is in her ability to create setting and atmosphere. Like The Vintner's Luck and The Angel's Cut (both of which I liked better than this book, although I preferred it over Billie's Kiss), this story puts supernatural creatures into a richly-described historical time period, although this one also has several storylines that occur in modern times. In this book, the creature of choice is vampires, ...more
Nesa Sivagnanam
This is a lovely, lovely book. Reminded me of Susan Hill. It's like wandering in a dream ... you never know what you might encounter next but when you do; you realise you'd always known it. That this is what is supposed to happen. That this is the truth you have always known. And because the characters so naturally accept all that is happening, I as a reader felt myself doing so to and in so doing got drawn further in the book.

I have not read anything else by her and I found this in a remainder
I thought it took too long to get to the idea behind the book. There were lots of wonderful, detailed descriptions, plenty of back story, but it wasn't interesting. I stuck with it because a friend said "keep going".

Well, I kept going and found it more interesting after the first 120+ pages but it became creepy and erotically cruel. Ok, so vampirism is the theme but it was sadistic and the continued detail didn't give it the suspense it needed to make it unputdownable.

Characters - Bad is the cen
Jacqueline Brocker
Strange book, in a rather captivating way. I felt that Knox was rather more interested in Daniel Octave then Bad, which is a pity, because both were interesting characters, and I think more time with the two of them interacting would have given the novel more weight. Her writing is entrancing, though (when not bogged down in the caving details which I skimmed) and the professional reviewers commenting on her ability to achieve a sense of place are accurate. Unfortunately the ended revelations al ...more
Sep 03, 2008 Kami rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: vampire lovers
Shelves: urban-fantasy
As far as vampire novels go, this one wasn't too shabby. It respects the general rules of light allergy and blood addiction, while it innovates with some new ideas and concepts. I loved a lot of the characterization, though it seemed the author spent more time developing the personalities and backgrounds of secondary characters, primarily Daniel. That was fine with me, since I thought the secondary characters were a little more interesting. The protagonist, Bad, gets practically no screen time, ...more
Not the easiest read & in terms of Elizabeth Knox books there are 4 others that I certainly prefer ahead of this. It took a while to settle into the story and I became lost several times as the story jumped between characters and through history but it did all pull together eventually in an intriguing portrayal bringing together Brian 'Bad' Phelan a NZ survivor of the Dart River (really read 'Cave Creek') Tragedy; French Jesuit Father Daniel Octave and vampires spanning decades and in some c ...more
I did like it, but I didn't find it as captivating as some of her other books, such as Billie's Kiss or The Vintner's Luck (or Dreamhunter/Dreamquake, for that matter). The characters ranged from "okay" to "somewhat interesting", and I never really felt attached to any of them. The writing was pretty, but didn't make me stop to reread bits like the other books. I hate to say that I was disappointed, because if I hadn't read her other books, I would have really liked this - but my expectations we ...more
This didn't quite come off. I think she tried to do too much--information about cavers AND a priest with a miserable past AND the story of a WWII nun AND a old-timey Provencal translation/romance AND vampires. And some other stuff. Yes, the strands came together eventually, but there were too many characters, really, and although the writing was, as ever, mesmerizing, and this is probably one of the best "vampire books" I've ever read--really, her vampires are original and interesting--and the b ...more
Jan 08, 2012 Shazzt added it
Shelves: nz
This story has considerably more "bite" than Twilight - much better written too (some might say that is not a high bar). I found a couple of things jarring - the nickname of a main character for one. I just never not used to seeing him called Bad. The incident with the viewing platform was another one - it kept bringing me out of the story and into the real life tragedy it was based on. Probably, that wouldn't be a problem for a non-NZ reader. At times I found the episodic nature of the story te ...more
Elle Patt
Another book that showed me what I wanted to accomplish as a writer. Dense and lush. A very satisfying read.
It was interesting to see a new twist on an old theme. The characters were interesting and likeable. I found some transitions between the past, characters memories and the current action difficult to follow at times. One transition in particular finds Eve in her present day apartment at one point, and then picking up her dead sister from a night club the next with no explanation. I thought I was reading a dream sequence.

Overall, it was an enjoyable read.
Alison Kagen
Wonderful! An absolutely staggering work of imagination, beautifully written, cleverly/carefully plotted. Difficult to read on the bus to & from work because a) I had to keep re-reading the last bit to keep on top of the convolutions of plot & activity & b) I wanted to find out what would happen next. I've not read anything else by the author before, but now will read everything I can.
Kathleen Dixon
May 17, 2014 Kathleen Dixon rated it 2 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: My son.
I didn't find this novel as easy to read as the others of Knox that I've been ploughing through. Perhaps I just didn't feel such an affinity for the subject matter (vampires). However, I do like the way she portrays vampirism - she doesn't use a "traditional" characterisation for them, and I did find the storyline fascinating, so have no hesitation in recommending it.
It is an unfortunate fact that I almost never enjoy adult works by writers whose YA writings I love cases in point, Ursula Le Guin and Diana Wynne Jones (I'm still waiting for the kamikaze sex, Diana). This, sadly, is no exception. It's a vampire story, with a very original and different take on the mythology, but I found it slow and dull, and the characters unengaging.
Had to read this one because the author is a Kiwi, and because of the connection with the Cave Creek tragedy. Interesting - took ages to get into, but about halfway through I was totally hooked. Gotta have my vampire stories.
I read it to see what happened. It was hard to keep my focus on it. I guess I have been expecting more since reading Dreamhunter. Some language and sexual content.
the book was difficult to get into. definitely not written like some of her other books. i felt she jumped around the story line and sometimes was hard to follow
I didn't realize when I picked it up that it was about vampires, or I probably wouldn't have read it.
However, I found it quite a memorable story.
Got halfway through and flagged it. Ok, but very slow, and I couldn't bring myself to like any of the characters.
Disappointed after dreamhunter and dreamquake. But then... I'm not really into the vampire scene!
Tracey Sinclair
An original take on the vampire myth, but I didn't find it quite as satisfying as Vintner's Luck.
Audrey Snowden
2.5...I wanted to like this so much more. I wanted to find another Laura Hame.
Book Chatter-Cath
Book Chatter-Cath marked it as to-read
Jul 26, 2015
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Elizabeth Knox was born in Wellington‚ New Zealand‚ and is the author of eleven novels and three novella and a book of essays.

More about Elizabeth Knox...
Dreamhunter (The Dreamhunter Duet, #1) Dreamquake (The Dreamhunter Duet, #2) The Vintner's Luck (Vintner's Luck, #1) Mortal Fire Wake

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