Bring on the Night

Bring on the Night
Review by The Mad Bibliographer, submitted on 1-Jan-1993

Adapted from the column "Vampires in Print" in The Vampire's Crypt #8 (Fall 1993).

Review by Cathy Krusberg

Jay Davis and Don Davis. Bring on the Night. (Tor, 1993)

Some vampires are such thoroughgoing s.o.b.s that you have to admire their lack of pretentiousness: you have to, because there's not much else admirable about them. Such is Nathan Kane, truly nasty villain of Bring on the Night. What's so bad about Kane? All he wants is lots and lots of money, an intelligent but perfectly agreeable wife, and absolute obedience from everyone he encounters.

Like I said....

Kane has various ways of entering (not to mention ending) people's lives. Corky Washburn has been an autopsy technician at the Cook County Institute of Forensic Medicine in Chicago for fifteen years. He meets Kane after the vampire has an unfortunate run-in with well-meaning hotel staff. Corky is just what Kane needs: familiar with the city and cowardly enough to be subjugated with minimal effort. Not that Kane lacks strength, but he needs to expend his efforts elsewhere: specifically, getting money. Not that he altogether lacks money, either; he has enough to buy a brownstone *and* the houses to either side. The man likes privacy for himself and his family. Yes, Nathan Kane has a wife and daughter. The daughter is human and has a penchant for bringing guests home. For dinner.

On the other side of the equation is Dr. Alexandra Castle, parapsychologist, aged 29. She has been having dreams, seeing the work of a killer through his own eyes. No, not Nathan Kane; there's another killer around, one who mutilates his victims and leaves bizarre remains. Bizarre as in, "This isn't a body, it's a charcoal briquette!"

Christian Danner can't help it. He's a man with a mission. There are vampires out there, and he must track them down and destroy them. Each individual vampire, however, is secondary: one of them will, one of them must, point the way to the creature who stole his family, who ruined his life: Nathan Kane.

Kane is at first blissfully unaware of Danner's pursuit. Once his brownstone is habitable, he hosts a party for the very, *very* rich, one of whom has brought Alex Castle as his date. When Kane meets Alex, he decides it's time to replace his mate Catherine with a new model. Danner catches up with his nemesis and does him the favor of getting rid of Kane's now-burdensome wife and daughter. Fine: except that Kane is exposed to the police when Danner is caught all too literally red-handed. Kane is *not* happy about that, and he seeks Danner out in his jail cell to tell him that he means to administer punishment as only he can. What would it be like for a fanatical vampire-hunter to become a vampire himself?

Danner never learns; his initiation rite is interrupted by the timely arrival of Det. Dennis Coglin and his partner Frank Heyward, who have been investigating Danner's mysterious leavings. Kane smiles and fogs out, unaffected by bullets. All right, so a few too many people know about him and he's going to have to leave town. But he knows where he's going to get what he he wants: money and a mate. Money from aging rock star Adrian Snow, who likes the idea of eternal life; and for his mate, the brilliant Alex Castle.

Whether she wants to or not.

From time to time you have to be tolerant while reading Bring on the Night. Alex Castle, for example, strikes me as too classy a lady to use "Doctor" socially (she has a Ph.D., not an M.D.). And anyone with a layman's knowledge of anatomy will find it difficult to imagine a vampire plunging his fangs into a victim's heart. (He's going to open his jaws one hundred eighty degrees and go straight through the ribcage? Yeah, right.) These niggling details, however, pale beside more essential aspects: detail in even minor characters; vivid descriptions of action. (Check out Corky Washburn's all-too-close encounter with the hyperbaric chamber where Kane spends his days--courtesy Kane, who likes just a *little* more privacy.) Kane is so beautifully suave and unreservedly evil; Alex Castle and the detectives she joins forces with actually intelligent. And Corky Washburn makes the perfect flunky: cowardly, dishonest, but now and then surprisingly resolute. And the action never flags (it's a thick book, too; over 400 pages). Not great literature, but a great read for those afternoons (or evenings) on the beach.

Fanged Films

From the Library

As the 20th century evolved, rational man turned to science to explain mythology that had pervaded for thousands of years. How could a man be mistaken for a vampire? How could someone appear to have been the victim of a vampire attack? Science, in time, came back with answers that may surprise you.Anemia
A million fancies strike you when you hear the name: Nosferatu!N O S F E R A T Udoes not die!What do you expect of the first showing of this great work?Aren't you afraid? - Men must die. But legend has it that a vampire, Nosferatu, 'der Untote' (the Undead), lives on men's blood! You want to see a symphony of horror? You may expect more. Be careful. Nosferatu is not just fun, not something to be taken lightly. Once more: beware.- Publicity for Nosferatu in the German magazine Buhne und Film, 1922  

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