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The Fifth House of the Heart

3.90  ·  Rating details ·  423 ratings  ·  98 reviews
Filled with characters as menacing as they are memorable, this chilling twist on vampire fiction packs a punch in the bestselling tradition of ’Salem’s Lot by Stephen King.

Asmodeus “Sax” Saxon-Tang, a vainglorious and well-established antiques dealer, has made a fortune over many years by globetrotting for the finest lost objects in the world. Only Sax knows the true secre
Paperback, 400 pages
Published July 28th 2015 by Gallery Books
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Anne Monteith I hope not, there is a slight hint at the end that there could be another book.

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Average rating 3.90  · 
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Mogsy (MMOGC)
5 of 5 stars at The BiblioSanctum

So the other day I was having this conversation with another blogger about what makes us give a book 5 stars. Admittedly, my own reasons can be pretty nebulous and oftentimes the finer details can differ from a lot of others’ “criteria”, but ultimately I think it always comes down to the question: Did the book blow my mind? Maybe the author impressed with some crazy unique ideas, or made me see something in a whole differe
May 20, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: vampires
When it comes to a great read (as opposed to a good one), timing can be everything. I tend to be a somewhat moody reader, and there are times where I'll put something aside until I feel like I'm in the right mood for it. Such was the case with The Fifth House of the Heart. I started in on it back in July, and it just wasn't working for me, but gave it another shot last week . . . and was completely blown away.

At the risk of sounding pretentious, this is just a marvelous read!

Forget what you know
Eon ♒Windrunner♒
This book was an undulating wave.

At times it crested the peaks with magnificent suspense and thrilling scares, but in between it just sort of wallowed in the troughs.

Meet Asmodeus Saxon-Tang.

Here’s the thing. I am, as is obvious, a homosexual. That is the least of my disqualifications, but it does cause the narrow-minded some discomfort. But there’s more to me than just that. I am, in addition, an unscrupulous, greedy, spiteful coward—with the scruples of a jackal and the reliability of a Renaul
Sep 04, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: all-time-favs
This. Book. Was. Fantastic!!! I was excited for the premise (aging antique dealer steals from vampires) and then floored by the writing and the story. The cast of characters were unique and well-developed (AND diverse!! Yay!!) and the story was suspenseful and engaging. Oh, and not to mention FUNNY! The author’s humor was sarcastic but compassionate and I adored the “hero,” Asmodeus Saxon-Tang (please call him Sax). The vampires were suitably evil (no “Twilight-types” here) and refreshingly inte ...more
Jul 02, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: horror
Asmodeus “Sax” Saxon-Tang is an aging antiques dealer who just outbid a woman on an over-priced antique clock in an auction. Later that night the clock is stolen and the watchman for Sax’s warehouse is murdered. Sax knows who wanted the clock and who would be willing to kill for it. Vampires! For Sax has tangled with them before. What he doesn’t know is why nor does he know that the particular vampire who would have a motive to steal it is the one who almost killed him before. Now Sax, despite h ...more
May 06, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites, giveaways
Amazing. Utterly so. Enthralling. To the final page.

I LOVE THIS BOOK. (I won it in a Goodreads giveaway and thank you thank you, Goodreads!)

Okay, it's the story of Asmodeus Saxon-Tang (known as Sax), who's pushing seventy and feeling the limits most of us will at that age. Regardless, he's an antique dealer, an avaricious soul, and determined to pursue to the ends of the Earth the antiques, little gems, rarities, etc., which have given his long life meaning. Problem is this...

Many of those littl
May 20, 2015 rated it it was amazing
The nitty-gritty: A stylish, horrifying and wryly humorous reading experience like no other.

The weather that day was warm in the sunlight, cold in the shade. It had been a terrible summer in Manhattan, humid and wet; now the autumn was dry but feverish, with skies that seemed somehow the wrong color, lurid, like old nickel postcards of New England scenes. Winter would come eventually, and it would be ferocious.

Sax wondered, without much emotion, if he would live to see the spring.

Curious about B
May 19, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: horror, 2016
This was actually a really good, original vampire novel. The main character, an antiques dealer who thinks he's a worse person than he is (although he is pretty greedy) was a different kind of protagonist for this kind of story, and I really liked him. Some of the other characters could have used more development, but the writing was still quite good, and I would read more by this author.
AnnaMaria MacNair
Jul 29, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
WOW!! Gay, geriatric antique dealer who is also a vampire hunter? Sold! I love this fresh, original take on vampires and it definitely kept me interested. This book follows Sax, a relic procurer who gathers a motley crew to help him hunt a vampire who tried to outbid him at an auction and what happens from there is quite entertaining and also thrilling. Sax is quite the character, with his quirks and hilarious quips. His inner dialogue and daydreaming during his visit to the Vatican to compile a ...more
Book Riot Community
This book is bloody good fun! Sax is a rich, successfully antiques dealer. What's his secret to finding some of the world's most amazing objects? He travels the world, killing vampires for their hoards of treasure. As you can image, the vampires don't appreciate it. And they've finally caught up with Sax. Now he's on the run for his life across Europe, joined by mercenaries and vampire killers, as he is hunted by the scariest vampire of them all. Creepy and exciting, The Fifth House is a perfect ...more
Nov 20, 2015 rated it really liked it
the take on vampire mythos in tripp's book is a welcome relief from a genre often filled (especially as of recent) with emotionally fragile and effortlessly beautiful vampires--those who spend more time pondering existentialism than acting as the monsters they decry themselves to be.
Neil Nabbefeld
Mar 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Lots of great reviews here so I don't see the need to do that for y'all. Just pick it up and read it. Excellent mix of intelligent writing and take on the vampire/werewolf myths, fun quirky characters with a bit of nasty gore to keep it real.

Would be awesome to read more about this from the writer but I feel satisfied.
Lynn Williams
Jun 12, 2015 rated it really liked it
4 of 5 stars
I don’t know what in the wide wide world is going on but I seem to be on a roll with good books at the moment and Ben Tripp’s Fifth House of the Heart is no exception.

The story revolves around a central character known as Asmodeus Saxon-Tang – thankfully everyone calls him Sax for short! Sax specialises in obtaining and selling antiques. This is a business that he not only excels at and has a huge store of knowledge that guides him to pick and
Jan 26, 2016 rated it liked it
There's a lot of good to be had in "The Fifth House of the Heart." The writing is pithy, the main character is absolutely charming in his curmudgeonly-ness, and the plot is interesting and unique as far as vampire hunting stories go.

Asmodeous Saxon-Tang is a very interesting, well-rounded main character who, in his old age, embraces his cowardice and his desire for wealth as defining traits. When a recently purchased antique clock goes missing (and a night watchman dead from his warehouse) Sax b
Apr 05, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I adored this book, almost solely because of the main character. Asmodeus Saxon-Tang is a septuagenarian antiques dealer who dresses like Quentin Crisp and has led three expeditions to kill vampires. These aren't your sparkly broody vampires, either. In fact, they take Dracula a step farther. Sax undervalues the courage he shows, all the while remarking on the hotness of the killers he's assembled around him. He's the most fascinating character I've met in a long time.

The only time the book was
Jennifer Wheeler
Jul 07, 2016 rated it liked it
Imagine that Indiana Jones is gay. And a bit of a coward. And yet hunts vampires for their treasure hoard, because his love/greed for highly valuable antiques sometimes overrides his cowardice. Ok? That's what this book is about. Had a few dry/rough spots (a bit tedious), but also some great horror action, along with a unique twist on vampire lore, in which vampires gradually take on the appearance of their most favoured (or just plain readily available) food source. A pretty good, and fairly ea ...more
Cynthia  Glissadevil
Jan 02, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: horror, vampire
4.5 stars!
Under the radar vampire classic. Like Stephen King before him, Ben Tripp's strength is an original voice. Contrast Tripp's sophisticated baritone with King's avuncular old man on a porch, spinning horror tales.

Opens at a New York City auction. Quickly, the action spreads its bat wings globally. A classy A-team ( can I say that?) determined to bring down an extremely dangerous master vampire.
Welcome addition to any serious vampire horror collection.
The summary on Goodreads likens this book to ‘Salem’s Lot, which seems to be a requirement for a book with a vampire in it and not an actual comparison having to do with story, character, mood, or language. I suppose it is scary at times, like ‘Salem’s Lot, but it is also hugely funny and heist-tacular (or how about caper-iffic?; yes, I made up these words).

I picked up this book because it was the horror winner on the Reading List, an award picked by ALA librarians for outstanding genre works (
May 19, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: vampires, horror
If I was not, at the time, in a mood for some urban horror story, I probably would not have requested The Fifth House of the Heart. It’s not a typical type of book I like to read.


* Mystery. Ben Tripp knows how to intrigue and tantalize you by throwing in facts and information. I always thought a was a breath away from solving the puzzle where are vampires hiding or what they are planning.

* Vampires got revamped.Vampires are most common paranormal creatures in literature. Ben Tripp refashi
Jun 03, 2016 rated it really liked it
This book was a recommendation from my daughter. It is a great story with lots of interesting characters and twists in plot. I particularly liked the pace of the story, it seemed to sail along smoothly and then suddenly great bursts of action and excitement erupted.

The main character is a 70ish gay antique collector and dealer living in New York, of course, who encounters vampires and other grisly creatures during his quest for great and rare antiques to be recovered anywhere in the world. Ther
harlequin {Stephanie}
Enjoyed the tales of his past adventures, I found myself getting lost in them like reading a story within a story. This was a distraction to the current drawn out present day events. Still, I enjoyed this. The author did a fine job telling the tale and carving characters.

Special note: Author did a stupendous job on his vampires. An interesting take which was far from the average slick haired lothario we are use to.

The three star rating comes from the time it took me to finish it. When I am deep
Nov 06, 2015 rated it really liked it
Fun & adventuresome romp. Not as terrifying as I wanted it to be--there were some instances towards the beginning (the first vampire encounter) where I was seriously creeped out & loving it. I wish the plot had maintained that sense of dread, but it kind of came and went. Quirky and interesting characters, made for some witty dialogue. There were one or two very minor plot conveniences, but I enjoyed the unfolding of the story so much that it wasn't a huge thing. ...more
Terri Wino
Jul 24, 2015 rated it it was ok
Shelves: year-2015
2.5 stars
I really wanted to like this one. The parts that stuck with the horror aspect were gory and great. Everything in between was just, unfortunately, sooo boring to me.
I wish I could say I enjoyed this one; it sounded like such a fantastic take on the vampire genre. Just didn't live up to my expectations.
Sep 19, 2017 rated it really liked it
It took me a little while until i really got into this book, and for the life of my i can't figure out why because once it finally clicked i completely fell in love with it. For some reason the book just wasn't really working for me, i wasn't latching onto any of the characters, and our here, an old grumpy dude named Sax, was getting on my nerves. It all felt just a little too slow, something that doesn't usually bother me at all. Overall, i think i just wasn't in the proper mood when i started ...more
Bonnie Owen
Jan 20, 2018 rated it liked it
This story kept my interest, although I did not care for the lead character at all. The story did drag at times, but I thought the depiction of the vampires as truly monsters was superb and each encounter with the vampires was quite thrilling (especially the flashback to the 1960s). The story follows Asmodeus Saxon-Tang, who is in the antiques trade and basically wants to steal the horde of vampires because they are the most valuable. He is completely selfish, ruled by greed and has others do th ...more
Nov 14, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I loved the biology of vampires in the world this book takes place in, because it’s different from any other paranormal book with vampires in it.. there’s almost a scientific element to it. I loved the protagonist Sax & his self deprecating humor. Finally, loooved the historical fiction aspect of the book, regarding the artifacts, art & pop culture mentioned, because I wasn’t really expecting it. I suppose the downfall of this book is that there’s almost too much ...more
Aug 12, 2019 rated it liked it
Good clean fun. Sax was a delightful character, a largely amoral rogue with just enough heart to make him appealing, and this book has the most original interpretation of vampires, and how they operate, that I've ever read. Tripp is a snappy writer; several times his narrative turns of phrase made me giggle out loud, and he's good at describing both gorgeous works of art, and nauseating scenes of gore and violence. It took me a while to get through the book, because I've been in a reading slump, ...more
Shawn Bramanti
Feb 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is the sort of book that you wish would have a sequel. I have a soft spot in my heart for the supernatural and this one was a slightly different spin on the vampire idea. All in all a great read, engaging characters, quick paced plot, cool tie ins to real history. I'm not going to go into much deeper examination of the story, it starts up quickly and rolls right along, with a couple enlightening historical flashbacks.
Sep 07, 2019 rated it really liked it
An excellent, fun story with very satisfying bits of a particular genre of archeological adventure, mixed generously with well thought out horror.

I loved how the author wove his personal brand of vampires with popular lore, explaining their longevity, and their inhuman abilities. I enjoyed the character of Sax immensely, with his slightly less than believable greed (that was some OP avarice!), along with his interactions with Paolo and the rest of his team.
Aug 25, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This was a wonderful stand-alone book about vampires and the cowardly gay antiques dealer who hunts them. These vampires are different from anything I've seen before, especially Twilight (thank god), and are terrifying. The motley crew that the main character assembles to hunt a vampire is full of fun and well-fleshed out characters. The action is intense, the writing humorous, and the love of all things old but still valuable is sublime.
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Urban Fantasy: The Fifth House of the Heart 1 9 Dec 29, 2015 04:51PM  

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BEN TRIPP is the author of Fifth House of the Heart; Rise Again and Rise Again: Below Zero, a two-part apocalyptic zombie saga for Gallery; he has also completed the first volume of the Accidental Trilogy, The Accidental Highwayman, which is a young adult fantasy. The Accidental Giant will be the next book in the series.

Tripp is an artist, writer, and designer who has worked with major entertainme

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