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Author of AGAINST A DARKENING SKY, THE EMPTY ROOM, OUR DAILY BREAD, and others. Find out more at www.LaurenBDavis.com. I read as if my sanity depended upon it.. . . oh, wait, it does! Snort.

Who's the Monster Now?

The Night Inside - Nancy Baker


Nancy Baker's debut novel, first published back in 1994, has been re-issued by ChiZine, and good for them!  Even if you don't generally read vampire novels -- which this is -- may I suggest you give it a try?  If you like thrillers, if you like crime novels, if you like suspense with a bit of dark erotica, this might just be the book for you.


The back of the book says:  "Dependable grad student Ardeth Alexander finds herself trapped in a nightmare as the unwilling blood source for a captive vampire. When she discovers that her fellow prisoner is not the worst monster she faces, she realizes the only way to survive is to make an irrevocable choice."


So, we're faced with a philosophical, moral choice at the start of the novel.  Lovely.  It might be any well-written dark thriller without this depth and complexity, which is fine so far as it goes, but Baker goes the extra mile.  Although I found myself hurriedly turning pages and reading later into the evening that I'd planned (good things), on top of that pleasure, the story was consistently enhanced by this sort of intelligent reminder.  What is one to do with eternity?  What is a 'monster'?  How does perspective alter morality?  Very well done.  I will go on to read the sequel -- BLOOD AND CHRYSANTHEMUMS-- at some point, and look forward to her new book, COLD HILLSIDE, to be published by Chizine in 2014.