An interesting twist on the vampire myth as the last vampire learns that his partner since the Stone Age has killed herself. Rather than face eternity alone he decides to commit suicide by waiting for the sun to claim him. His plans are thwarted however when he’s stabbed as the sun rises, his suicide remains successful, yet he retains a degree of consciousness as his soul is now being spread through each subsequent victim that falls to the blade. He must get the knife back and reclaim his soul, the problem is, someone doesn’t want him to get it back.
The Truants is a tale of the social underclass, of knife crime, drug abuse and poverty with a clever new interpretation of the Vampire mythology woven between the rat infested tower blocks. It’s beautifully written, almost poetic at times, there were several passages that literally stopped me reading for a moment it was so powerful. The way Markham details the grief of a murdered childs mother were stunning, the vile descriptions of poverty and abuse in a small flat where drug addled parents fester whilst their dirty, lice ridden child is in another room desperate for love and attention is simply heartbreaking.
The story is certainly not an easy read, but the elegant way in which it’s written pulls you through the blood and filth.
The Truants is a remarkable piece of work that demands to be read.
Star Rating (out of 5): 4****
The Truants is written by Lee Markham and published by Duckworth Overlook