The Dead Game by Susanne Leist
The setting is a strong part of this book for me and I loved the location of Oasis as a bohemian beachside resort. On the surface, it is bright and colourful, but underneath it has its ancient secrets – one of which is the existence of vampires.
The author has a new take on this folklore. Vampires have splintered off into different factions, each with their own unique role in the human world. Naturally, this creates a tension and provides a backdrop to the action.
Linda and Shana are human and the main protagonists. They have a strong, but impish relationship which is tested as they investigate the disappearances of tourists and residents alike. They are aided by their friends and by a handful of others whose changing allegiances sow seeds of doubt everywhere.
Added to this is a rich palette of gods and demons and spellcasters, lending the book a strong fantasy element. However, there are also strands of horror, suspense and romance as Linda falls for the enigmatic Todd, who is not who he seems.
With its florid imagery, The Dead Game has a cinematic quality, reminding me of the film The Lost Boys. They both have a playful savagery, placing them apart (and for me personally, above) the Twilight series.