- Crime & Thriller
The startling, intense debut by a talented author – Trainspotting meets vampire novel, Let the Right One In.
In a fresh twist on the traditional vampire narrative, The Truants is a startling, noirish tale of immortality, bloodlust and rage.
Following his lover’s suicide, the last of the ‘old-ones’– ancient immortal beings as clever as they are ruthless, and unable to withstand the light of the sun – has had enough of this world gone to ruin and decides to end his existence. Yet as he waits for the burning dawn on a bench near a council estate, he is held up at knifepoint by a youth and stabbed. While the old-one’s body turns to ash as the sun rises, his assailant scurries back into the estate’s feral underbelly with the knife in his pocket. The old-one’s blood is still seared into its sharpened blade, and as the knife does its menacing rounds his consciousness is awakened in the city’s children from the depths of the afterlife. Determined to die, he must find and destroy the knife to regain control of his soul. But someone is out to stop him…
A sharp and powerful new voice, Lee Markham has written an intelligent, visceral 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… 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 Best Horror Novel of 2017)
'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
‘The razor-sharp tale of ancient evil set amid the very modern tensions of Broken Britain… a remarkable piece of work that demands to be read’ Ginger Nuts of Horror
‘A welcome and memorable addition to the vampire subgenre, full of original ideas and some nightmarishly vivid imagery’ New York Journal of Books
‘The Trainspotting of supernatural prose’ Liam Sharp, author of God Killers
‘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
‘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
‘A unique, modern and very British take on the vampire genre’ Hammer Films
‘Pathos is the most important ingredient for any writer… The Truants is dripping with it’ Vanessa Austin Locke, The Latest
‘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
‘No regular horror story… ‘Social Horror' may not be a sub-genre but if Lee Markham carries on writing books like this then it will be... [it] pulls no punches at all … heartily recommended to anyone who likes horror fiction with a little more meat on its bones’ GeekPlanetOnline