What's the Name of That Book??? discussion

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UNSOLVED: One specific book > Horror: amnesia, carrion birds, GLBT and a stunning cover. Spoilers ahead.

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message 1: by Mina (new)

Mina Kelly | 6 comments I wish I'd found this group years ago; I've forgotten so many details about this book now that would have made your lives much easier :)

I found this book in a local library (UK) about tend years ago. I was drawn to it by its cover, which I don't remember in great detail now but was very striking at the time; I think it was white with the shadow of a black bird, and a splash of red? I think the title was something like 'Raven' or 'Magpie' - I'm fairly certain it was some kind of bird too generic to easily search for. It was a pretty slim book, but definitely adult horror.

It's a book with a lot of twists, and I'm afraid I'm going to horribly spoil them below, so I really hope someone's read it!

There's a lot of amnesia in the novel, and I can't quite remember what order the revelations go in. A man wakes up as usual, but he finds nobody knows who he is. Not his wife, his boss, or anyone else. He starts finding evidence that he may have lived a different life; a signature on a guestbook in his handwriting, but under a different name. Convinced he's being duped, he starts researching this other name, and arranges to meet someone. I think he has an address book or diary to base this research on (given to him by the hotelier where he signed the guestbook?).

Big Spoilers Ahead

Eventually he comes to realise that this double life is actually his real one; he has a boyfriend, not wife, and a completely different career. His fake wife is killed, and he has to prove his innocence (I may be remembering this slightly out of order).

Really Big Spoilers

The main action is intercut with weird scenes, that eventually turn out to be the point of view of the being that set all this up. I can't remember quite what happens next, but it ends with him in a tank, being liquidised by a very elderly vampire-esque creature, who set up the whole thing. The vampire can't easily hunt or eat it's victims, so it sets up traps like this for them (I think there may be an element of psychic-vampirism, where it feeds on its victim's distress and confusion too). It dissolves people in something like acid, and absorbs the remains.

The problem I've had is that though I've never read another book with a plot like it, what I remember makes for search terms too generic to give anything useful (vampire, amnesia, magpie etc). So, anyone else read it? It made a real impression on me in every way that counts, just not the author or title!


message 2: by Kaion (new)

Kaion (kaionvin) | 391 comments Can you search the catalog of that library?


message 3: by Mina (new)

Mina Kelly | 6 comments I've tried a variety of keywords (gay horror amnesia vampire - various combinations get me Vampire Lestat, the Bourne Identity, and John Barrowman's autobiography!), but either they're not specific enough of the library no longer has the book. I don't live in that part of the country any more, so I can't even go and browse on the off chance.


message 4: by Raz (new)

Raz | 87 comments Could this be Raven by S.A. Swiniarski?


message 5: by Mina (new)

Mina Kelly | 6 comments I don't think so, alas. I don't remember the protagonist bcoming a vampire, just being dissolved in acid and eaten by the vampire.


message 6: by Raz (new)

Raz | 87 comments Who would have thought there were multiple vampire books with bird-named titles, issues with their wives and amnesiac heroes? Good luck in finding this one. It even had a black bird on the cover and a splash of red (although the details were admittedly not exact).

My local library has their database online so I can search it, even without being logged in. Does the library which you borrowed the book from do this? Although since it was 10 years ago it does seem like a shot in the dark.


message 7: by Deborah (new)

Deborah | 178 comments I want to read this so I'm bumping it up:)


message 8: by MJ (new)

MJ | 37 comments I don't think this is the book your looking for but I thought I'd throw it out there anyway. Out Of My Head by Didier van Cauwelaert. This book was recently made into a movie starring Liam Neeson.


message 9: by Jayme (new)

Jayme | 158 comments Probably not right, but maybe Carrion Comfort?


message 10: by Lobstergirl, au gratin (new)

Lobstergirl | 37621 comments Mod
Mina, are you still looking for this? Was it "Out of My Head" or "Carrion Comfort?"


message 11: by Mina (new)

Mina Kelly | 6 comments No, it's neither of those. Out of My Head sounds really close, but unless all of the reviewers are keeping the vampire aspect a secret to avoid spoiling people, I don't think that's it.


message 12: by Michele (new)

Michele | 280 comments Well, this a bit of a longshot since I don't remember any vampire, but it's been a while since I read it. Shadow (Scavenger Trilogy, #1) by K.J. Parker Shadow by K.J. Parker. It's about a guy who wakes with amnesia and then tries to figure out who he is, what happened, etc. It's a fantasy trilogy, but not very much magical stuff I can remember. Anywho, he dreams about ravens I think and a battle. The author is British I believe. It's a very good trilogy, even if it's not the one you're looking for. Good luck.


message 13: by Vesmé (new)

Vesmé (vesme) | 25 comments Sounds good, hopefully it gets found.


message 14: by Lobstergirl, au gratin (new)

Lobstergirl | 37621 comments Mod
Still looking?


message 15: by Michele (new)

Michele | 2358 comments Do you remember when the book was set -- 1930s, 1950s, 1980s, near future? When you read it, do you have a sense of whether it was a new book at the time or an older one?

There is also this list of gay vampire books which you might check.


message 16: by Mina (new)

Mina Kelly | 6 comments It was set contemporary to when I read it, which would be the late 90s/early 00s.


message 17: by Lobstergirl, au gratin (new)

Lobstergirl | 37621 comments Mod
Still looking now, Mina?


message 18: by Mina (new)

Mina Kelly | 6 comments Still haven't recognised it!


message 19: by Kris (last edited Jan 15, 2018 03:13PM) (new)

Kris | 32339 comments Mod
Mina, when the man first awakens what exactly does he see and where is he - country/region/big city/small town?


The rockabilly werewolf from Mars | 1456 comments Still looking? It sounds interesting.


message 21: by SamSpayedPI (last edited Oct 07, 2019 05:54AM) (new)

SamSpayedPI | 1604 comments Maybe one of the Charm of Magpies series by K.J. Charles?

Edit: No, never mind; I didn't catch it was contemporary. The Charm of Magpies series is historical fiction.


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