After seeking help from their nearest relative—a wealthy uncle who wants nothing to do with them—John and Wayne decide to embark on a pickpocketing career to survive. Unfortunately, their first victim is Jacques St. Germain, a mysterious, well-to-do aristocrat who turns the tables on the pair, offering them seemingly endless carnal pleasures in his mansion—as long as they agree to abide by his “house rules.” Bewitched by the decadence at their fingertips, and their endless days of hazy pleasure-seeking (thanks to a drink Jacques insists they imbibe that looks suspiciously like blood), both John and Wayne are soon caught in a web of trickery and enchantments.
Patten is a master at nightmarish buildup, strewing bits of history through the carnage that soon takes over John and Wayne’s lives. The New Orleans streets themselves seem to whisper of murder, vampires, and rippers—those evil, very human men who draw strength from drinking their victims’ blood—alongside a profound exploration of the line humans must cross to truly be considered monsters. Elements of romance and hope intertwine but, in true horror form, the story ends with a disturbing twist that will leave readers questioning everything they’ve read.
Takeaway: Dark and twisty tale of evil stalking New Orleans’s streets.
Comparable Titles: Ray Bradbury's Something Wicked This Way Comes, George R.R. Martin's Fevre Dream.
Design and typography: A
Marketing copy: A