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Hide Me Among the Gravesby Tim Powers
Synopses & Reviews
London, winter of 1862, Adelaide McKee, a former prostitute, arrives on the doorstep of veterinarian John Crawford, a man she met once seven years earlier. Their brief meeting produced a child who, until now, had been presumed dead. McKee has learned that the girl lives — but that her life and soul are in mortal peril from a vampiric ghost. But this is no ordinary spirit; the bloodthirsty wraith is none other than John Polidori, the onetime physician to the mad, bad, and dangerous Romantic poet Lord Byron. Both McKee and Crawford have mysterious histories with creatures like Polidori, and their child is a prize the malevolent spirit covets dearly.
Polidori is also the late uncle and supernatural muse to the poet Christina Rossetti and her brother, the painter Dante Gabriel Rossetti. When she was just fourteen years old, Christina unwittingly brought Polidori's curse upon her family. But the curse bestowed unexpected blessings as well, inspiring Christina's poetry and Gabriel's paintings. But when Polidori resurrects Dante's dead wife — turning her into a horrifying vampire — and threatens other family members, Christina and Dante agree that they must destroy their monstrous uncle and break the spell, even if it means the end of their creative powers.
Determined to save their daughter, McKee and Crawford join forces with the Rossettis, and soon these wildly mismatched allies are plunged into a supernatural London underworld whose existence goes beyond their wildest imaginings. Ultimately, each of these disparate individuals — the sensitive poet, the tortured painter, the straitlaced animal doctor, the reformed prostitute, and even their Artful Dodgerlike young daughter — must choose between the banality and constraints of human life and the unholy immortality that Polidori offers.
Sweeping from the mansions of London's high society to its grimy slums, the elegant salons of the West End to the pre-Roman catacombs beneath St. Paul's Cathedral, Hide Me Among the Graves blends the historical and the supernatural in a dazzling, edge-of-your-seat thrill ride — a modern horror story with a Victorian twist.
"The vampiric specter of John Polidori, who published the first work of vampire fiction in 1819 and died a probable suicide in 1821, haunts 1862 London in Powers's stellar supernatural thriller, a sequel of sorts to 1989's The Stress of Her Regard. In particular, Polidori menaces his nephew and niece, pre-Raphaelite artist Dante Gabriel Rossetti and his poetess sister, Christina, who turn for help to reformed prostitute Adelaide McKee; Adelaide's veterinarian lover, John Crawford; and Edward John Trelawny, who, like Polidori, was a member of the Byron and Shelley circle. Polidori is plotting with other members of his ancient race, the Nephilim, to victimize not only the families to which they're attached but the city's entire populace. Powers works an impressively original variation on the vampire theme, and makes the Rossettis' crusade extremely poignant through the revelation that they are their most creative only when under the vampire's malignant influence. The meticulous attention to historical and literary detail grounds the story solidly in its period and enhances its imaginative reach. Agent: Russell Galen, Scovil Galen Ghosh Literary Agency." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
"A writer of extraordinary imaginative powers." Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
"The nonstop action of this diverting steampunk thriller will attract many readers." Library Journal
"In this fast-paced nail-biter...the breakneck pace and labyrinthine plot pull us through history, mythology, mystery, and horror with [Powers'] signature creative verve. " Booklist
"It would be a serious mistake to dismiss Hide Me Among the Graves as something less than art....It's a smart, exciting and perfectly constructed novel, and it's hard as hell to put down." NPR.org
"Tim Powers has long been one of my absolutely favorite writers, those whose new books I snatch up as soon as they appear." Peter Straub
From Last Call to On Stranger Tides to Declare to Three Days to Never, any book by the inimitable Tim Powers is a wonder. With Hide Me Among the Graves, it's possible that the uniquely ingenious Powers has surpassed even himself. A breathtaking historical thriller in which art and the supernatural collide, Hide Me Among the Graves transports readers back to mid-19th century London and features a reformed ex-prostitute, a veterinarian, and the vampire ghost of Lord Byron's onetime physician, uncle to poet Christina Rossetti and her brother, the painter Dante Gabriel Rossetti. A novel that, like all his others, is virtually impossible to pigeonhole — or to resist — Hide Me Among the Graves is the taut, gripping, and utterly remarkable literary thrill ride that Tim Powers fans have been eagerly waiting for.
About the Author
Tim Powers is the author of numerous novels, including Last Call, Declare, Three Days to Never, and On Stranger Tides, the inspiration for the blockbuster film Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, starring Johnny Depp and Penelope Cruz. Powers lives in San Bernardino, California.
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