The startling, intense debut by a talented author – Trainspotting meets Let the Right One In.
Following the suicide of his lover, the last of the ‘oldones’ – ancient immortal beings, as clever as they are ruthless and unable to withstand the light of the sun – has decided to end his immortality. As he sits on a bench on the edge of a council estate to await his demise with the rising of the sun, he is mistaken for an old man, held up at knifepoint by a young man and stabbed before the sun burns his body to ashes. His assailant scurries back into the belly of the estate with the knife in his pocket, the blood of the old-one seared into its sharpened edge.
But once the blade finds new flesh, the congealed blood mingles with that of its victim, and awakens in them the old-one’s consciousness from the depths of the afterlife. It is not long before the knife draws blood again, and one by one the youth living on the estate are taken over by the old-one’s mind. Determined to die, he must find and destroy the knife before his soul becomes irrevocably dispersed in the bodies of the city’s children, trapped forever in its feral underbelly. But someone is out to stop him…
Inspired by the murders of Baby P, Jamie Bulger and Damilola Taylor, and by the London riots during the summer of 2011, The Truants is a visceral, intelligent, gripping novel which uncovers the fragility and hopelessness of Britain’s social underclass – and the horror of their everyday lives.
‘A relentlessly brutal, nihilistic read, told in stripped-down, staccato prose, The Truants uses the metaphor of the vampire to portray society’s true victims and shines a despairingly honest light on areas not usually illuminated by genre fiction’ Guardian
'A welcome and memorable addition to the vampire subgenre, full of original ideas and some nightmarishly vivid imagery... told with all the confidence and finesse of a veteran writer, it marks the beginning of a promising career' New York Journal of Books
‘A twisted vampiric read. Ideal for a summer scare’ NME
‘Markham’s take on the inside of an ancient vampire’s head is as invigoratingly fresh as his story is, by turns, brutal and touching’ Jack Ketchum, author of Off Season
‘The Trainspotting of supernatural prose’ Liam Sharp, co-founder of Madefire and author of God Killers
‘A neo-noir vampire saga... Markham’s prose is proficient, purposeful and poetic... the words trill and tremble and taunt and tear’ Horror Novel Review
‘Terse, fast-paced and modern… very rich writing gives this novel a lift towards poetry’ British Fantasy Society
‘An absolutely stonking good read… the Tarantino-esque timeline gripped from start to finish’ Russ Williamson, Smashwords.com
‘The best vampire story since Let The Right One In’ Somethingyousaid.com
‘A neo-noir vampire saga... Markham’s prose is proficient, purposeful and poetic... the words trill and tremble and taunt and tear’ Horror Novel Reviews