From the award-winning author of Declare, Last Call, and Three Days to Never, comes a standout historical thriller in which art and the supernatural collide.
In the winter of 1862, a reformed ex-prostitute named Adelaide McKee shows up on the London doorstep of veterinarian John Crawford with news: their “interlude” seven years earlier produced a baby, which, till now, had been presumed dead. Recently, Adelaide has learned that the girl is still alive—but her life and soul are in peril from a vampiric ghost whose murderous attention McKee drew in her bad old days.
The vampire ghost is John Polidori, Lord Byron’s one-time physician and uncle to the poet Christina Rossetti and her brother, the painter Dante Gabriel Rossetti, both of whose works are supernaturally aided by Polidori’s influence. But when Polidori resurrects Dante’s dead wife by turning her into a horrifying vampire and threatens other family members, the Rossetti siblings know that they must find a way to destroy their monstrous uncle, even though it will mean the end of their best work.
Thrown together with Crawford and McKee, who hope to find and save their missing daughter, the Rossettis are plunged into a supernatural London underworld whose existence they never suspected. Each of the mismatched group—the straitlaced animal doctor, the ex-prostitute, the poet, the painter, and the Artful-Dodger-like daughter—must ultimately choose between the banality and stress of human life and the unholy immortality that Polidori offers.
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