Free Press, $25.00, 371 pages
You may think you can’t possibly read another vampire book. Think again. The Radleys by Matt Haig is not your typical novel about blood suckers. It’s a story about a regular suburban family who is hiding a very dark and dangerous secret.
17 Orchard Lane is the home of Peter, Helen, Rowan, and Clara. The kids think their pale faces and allergies to sunlight are all part of growing up. But their parents haven’t been honest with them. Peter and Sarah have turned their backs on vampirism and thanks to their conscientious study of the Abstainer’s Handbook, they have managed to keep their fangs in check and their family under control. But their world comes crashing down after a gruesome act of violence. The family must call in Uncle Will, a live-out-loud vampire, to help protect Clara and save the family’s reputation.
Haig explores how it feels to be a teenager and does a wonderful job highlighting the lengths a parent will go to protect a child. Identities are questioned as well as good and evil. Haig has announced that there will be a sequel and a prequel coming soon.
Reviewed by Elizabeth Franklin