Following the grief and horror of her discovery of Jack the Ripper’s true identity, Audrey Rose Wadsworth has no choice but to flee London and its memories. Together with the arrogant yet charming Thomas Cresswell, she journeys to the dark heart of Romania, home to one of Europe’s best schools of forensic medicine…and to another notorious killer, Vlad the Impaler, whose thirst for blood became legend.
But her life’s dream is soon tainted by blood-soaked discoveries in the halls of the school’s forbidding castle, and Audrey Rose is compelled to investigate the strangely familiar murders. What she finds brings all her terrifying fears to life once again.
This book was clearly a wild ride. Being romanian, I had read a lot of vampire novels and a lot of authors had no clue about our lore, but reading this tiny piece of art was something else. I didn’t did a backround check on the author to see if she is romanian or not (she isn’t, she’s from NY) but if she isn’t, omg her research was on point and it was so so satisfying to finally read correct romanian language and yes her book was a little bit about vampires. Not about vampires but with vampires – the supreme romanian vampire – Vlad Țepes / Dracula / The Prince of Darkness.
Audrey and Thomas are staying at the Bran Castle, known as Dracula’s Castle but in reality it was only his summer “house”. Weird things are happening there and all the romanians that they had incountered said that vampires are lurking around. Before arriving to the castle they traveled by train, in that train a gruesome murder took place – a man was killed with a stake through his heart and Audrey found garlic in his mouth – putting garlic in someone’s mouth after being daggered is considered to killing him properly because he was a cold one, already dead, a vampire. But Audrey refuses to believe that the undead is lurking or even existing.
After arriving at the Bran Castle – the location of the school – and after meeting Moldoveanu, the headmaster that carries quite some secrets of his own, Audrey feels that creepy things are happening, also one of her classmates gets murdered one night and at the autopsy they discover that his blood is long gone, he has no trauma or wounds just two points on his neck. Everyone puts the cause of death as vampire victim but Audrey just doesn’t want to believe in old romanian folclore.
A lot of secrets are unfolding from time to time as Thomas grows fonder of Audrey but he has a secret of his own as well, I think the biggest. We see a lot of traits of Thomas in this book and I like where their “friendship” is going.
I loved the book, it had everything – murder, suspense, mystery, vampires, romantic love, romanian lore, descriptions of the mighty Bran Castle, atmosphere. It is so good that I treat it as a thriller and not as an YA book. This serie is surprisingly good and I can’t recommand it enough!