The Nightwalkers by J.A. Kahn
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
This is an enjoyable YA horror/mystery with very pronounced comedic elements, but at its core, it's all horror.
I couldn't help but feel the elements of Stephen King's It combined with Inspector Cluso, young kids on the track of a real horror butting heads against absolutely idiotic and bumbling law enforcement. This makes up a very significant portion of the tale, and it gets very dark even through all the amazing incompetence. I kept expecting a moment where the kids would uncover the masked villain who'd say that they'd have gotten away with it if it wasn't for those darn kids... but no, the horror is real, the killers are real, and the incompetence feels absolutely real.
The only people with a clue are the kids, but that's a pretty usual key to these tales. The gulf between the adults and the kids is what makes this stand out stronger than the competition. All the adults are written with broad strokes and tragedy follows despite the humor.
But this is only a part of the tale. We also get deep into the other side of the tale. Vampires. No one believes or wants to believe... and that's fine with them. Still, there's a real tragedy and a long story in this house, too.
Later, all the elements will clash and this was probably the most satisfying part of the tale. So much death for such an otherwise funny horror. Maybe that's the point!
Thanks to the author for providing me an ARC! It was a blast.
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