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Thursday, July 24, 2014

A Beast in Venice by Michael E. Henderson

I chose this book because if I see Venice in a title I want to read it. I did not check out the genre of the book and it surprised me.

Brigham Stone is a modern artist. His wife is a Professor. They live in Venice. He is trying to get a gallery to showcase his art and he is failing miserably. Art gallery owners belong to a cartel (or so it seems) and choice of artist is strictly determined by some rules governed by a kind of Mafia.

Brigham is also on the way to becoming a drunk.  He sees a man walking through a brick wall, confides in his wife, who puts it down to the drink, confides in a friend a gondolier Mauro who believes him intensely and who says that it is all linked to the current events in Venice - bodies being fished out of the canals, gutted, crucified and eaten. Referred to as shroud eaters Mauro insists they exist despite Brigham's initial skepticism.

Brigham is later befriended by Charles - seemingly a kindly, rich man who likes his art and is willing to help him along. His kindly exterior of course conceals more sinister workings and Brigham is drawn into a private, hidden world in Venice. The world of clubs where vampires, blood sucking, crucifixion and death is also involved.

How to exist in this world to which he is drawn, how to reconcile with his wife Rose who has gone missing, and how to get back to normality because Brigham knows definitely that continuing down this path is going to lead to his own demise.

The vampire bits left me unmoved but the story of a sometimes bumbling Brigham, was amusing.

A download from Netgalley courtesy of Gemelli Press.

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