After fleeing from a vampire witch hunt in Transylvania hundreds of years earlier, vampire Ileana Vladislava lives out a lonely existence in Wightwick Hall, a castle in the Jesmond Dene area of Newcastle upon Tyne, a city in Tyne and Wear, England. Still bearing the scars of her past, she avoids relationships with people. The likelihood of the vengeful werewolf, Claymor, finding her also keeps her in a state of solitary. Myrna Ivester lacks confidence and is often unsure about her decisions. When Ileana sees Myrna at the Newcastle City Library, she feels that it is Myrna's destiny to be a vampire. Taking a bold risk, Ileana appears at Myrna’s home, places her in a hypnotic trance, and turns her into a vampire without her consent because deep down inside Ileana knows Myrna is longing for such a life. Later on, Myrna reflects on the deepest meaning of her life in her transformation into something supernatural as she finds the courage to leave her old life behind (only family aunt Eowyn Dymtrow, nursing assistant job, and friend Siobhan Mulcahy).
For decades now she has been living in a dark and dreary castle. Her only comfort being the memories of the family she once had, all killed centuries ago in Transylvania. She dares not start a new colony for fear of discovery.
Ileana escaped from old Transylvania at the time of the vampire witch hunt and has never left England ever since. She knows not whether there are others like her. She doesn’t care about making friends and is careful to come and go without being noticed. It is the only way to survive among humans. She is The Lonely Vampire.
Her quiet existence is threatened by Lorraine Krag, a nosy housewife who moves into her quiet neighbourhood with her husband. Lorraine is tipped off by the noises of dying animals that seem to occur every day at the same time. Lorraine can’t suffer a secretive person, so naturally she blames the noises on Ileana, her reclusive neighbour who lives in a castle.
Lorraine is inching closer and closer to the truth with her investigations and time is running out for Ileana. She has met a worthy candidate for the vampire life, but turning them is a huge risk. Will she manage to court a new companion and make a getaway before Lorraine closes in on her?
The Lonely Vampire is a chilling thriller with a horror undercurrent. I was so invested in the characters that I didn’t care who won between Lorraine and Ileana. The author, Ann Greyson, created a worthy nemesis for Ileana. I couldn’t decide who I was rooting for.
There are many vampire novels now, but this one is different. This is the closest I have gotten to finding a sequel to Bram Stoker’s Dracula. I recommend this to thriller lovers, mystery lovers and to anyone who is partial to a vampire story that pays homage to the original vampire, Dracula.