Also the normal sobriquet of the walking undead, "zombie", is not used either; instead they are caled "the Restless". Still for purposes of this post, I will rely on the more traditional terms of "vampire" and "zombies".
Becoming a vampire is not without price which leads to a three way division of life. At the lowest rung of society are the zombies, natch. At the very top are the vampires. And stuck in between and feeling the squeeze are the humans, too poor or too defiant to become a vampire, in constant battle to stay out of reach of the zombies. Humans are ostensibly the middle class in Deadwardian society, a class threatened by an ever growing population of zombies below them and cut off by an increasingly isolated vampire class from above.
The story in this collection centers around vampire Chief Inspector George Suttle who is called out to investigate the murder of another vampire. Which is a pretty neat trick since the only way to kill a vampire in this world is to cut its head off. And the victim appears to be in one piece. Suttle’s investigation of the murder drives the action but the real appeal of the story to me was the exploration of this world and how people try to live in it. In order to save his maid from becoming a zombie after she is bitten by a zombie, she’s given the cure and doesn’t quite like it. She feels alienated from her old life and she misses things she didn’t think about missing. For example, dogs. She loves dogs. But dogs don’t care much for vampires who are both there and not there at the same time. Suttle goes about his investigation with a human driver who provides some interesting insight about what it means to be human in a world where zombies overrun most of the world and vampires rule from heights of emotional detachment. It is that very detachment that gnaws at him. The murder case leads him to a human prostitute that stirs things inside the Chief Inspector that he thought long forgotten, like, for example, sex.
Thanks for popping by the old blog thing today. Another post is coming your way tomorrow. Until then, remember to be good to one another.
I'm So Glad My Suffering Amuses You