- Crime & Thriller
A Guardian Best Horror Novel of 2017
Contorting the conventional vampire narrative into a startling tale of immortality, blood lust, and rage contaminating London’s inner-city youth like a virus, The Truants tells the story of the last of the old-ones—creatures afflicted with a condition not unlike vampirism: ancient, bloodthirsty, and unable to withstand sunlight. The last old-one has decided to end his life, but before he can act he is held up at knifepoint. His assailant disappears, the knife in his pocket, the blood of the old-one seared into its sharpened edge.
The knife trades hands, drawing blood again, and the old-one is resurrected through his victims’ consciousness and divided, spreading through the infected. With his horde of infected youth, the old-one must reclaim 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 a visceral novel that uncovers the 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 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
‘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
‘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
'Terse, fast-paced and very modern… very rich writing gives this novel a lift towards poetry’ British Fantasy Society
‘An intriguing tale that manages to mix familiar horror tropes with insights into the state of some of Britain’s poorest places today’ On: Magazine