To save his missing daughter a distraught slayer must venture deep into the heart of darkness
Legendary vampire hunter Anton Yoska is on the edge, tormented by the rumour that the precious child he once thought dead is still alive and lost in a world of monsters.
One creature alone knows for sure what happened to Gretchen, but Terek Modjeski won’t divulge his secret – revelling in the twisted power over his long-time foe.
Despairing and drinking heavily, Anton stumbles from near disaster to near disaster as he puts his team in jeopardy, testing their friendship and loyalty to snapping point.
Only one diabolical solution is possible – to confront Terek in his maximum security cell and force the bloodsucker to end his game of cat and mouse. But making the cunning infernal talk will mean employing brutal methods that go against every code Anton has ever lived by, forcing him to become as much of a demon as the leeches he hunts.
Face to face with the evil, taunting vampire, the desperate slayer takes a decision that will change his destiny forever – sending him hurtling into danger to confront a terrifying truth about his lost child that risks not only his sanity but the future of mankind.
Extract from The Lazarus Child Jay Raven
In this extract vampire slayer Anton Yoska visits Transylvania’s most notorious maximum security prison to interrogate one of its most feared Undead captives. But to get there he has to cross an eerie, fog-shrouded lake.
The boat set off, paddles splashing in unison, gliding smoothly into the smog. Immediately, chill wisps of fog swirled around them in a ghostly dance and, pulling his heavy cape tighter around himself, Anton glimpsed back over his shoulder. The jetty had already evaporated, all sign of Quintz and the wagon swallowed up in the grey haze. Up ahead was just the same – an impenetrable blanket of vapour blocking any view of the boat’s destination.
Each stroke of the oars intensified the sense of peril, and it was difficult to resist a growing apprehension, as though they were voyaging through some haunted, ethereal realm.
It wasn’t just the eeriness that troubled him. A dark ultimatum made him brood – Leopold’s condemning words fresh in his memory even though it had been some weeks before: “I tire of this whole business, Yoska. I only kept the infernals alive at your insistence that Terek Modjeski could produce useful information about the Brethren’s numbers and intentions. But, so far, your attempts at interrogation have proved useless. Not one jot of intelligence. Nothing. How many times is it now that you’ve questioned the prisoner?”
“And you’ve failed dismally to make him talk. Intolerable. Simply intolerable. I thought you were supposed to be the man whose very name made nosferatu tremble. Well, it’s obvious that this is one infernal who doesn’t share their trepidation.”
Trying to argue had been pointless. The Crown Prince was implacable, declaring: “Frankly, I am of a mind to hand it all over to Julius Gant. I can promise you he will get results, unfettered by your tedious morality or squeamishness.”
There was no mistaking the sincerity of the threat.
“But what about my daughter?” Anton had asked, aghast. “If I’m denied access to the creature how can I ever learn the truth of what happened? He’s my only hope.”
“Not my problem, Yoska. And very soon, it won’t be yours either. I suggest that if you really want to find out the fate of your girl, you stop treating Terek Modjeski as though he is a human. He is a thing, less than a thing. A parasite. His very existence is a blasphemy. Break the monster’s silence, before I have Gant do it.”
One of the musket men touched his shoulder jolting him from the recollection.
“There it is,” the guard pointed out, as the mist thinned and a forbidding structure loomed in the distance.
Jay Raven is the author of Gothic chillers and historical horror reminding readers that the past is a dangerous place to venture, full of monsters and murderous men. He blames his fascination with vampires, witches and werewolves on the Hammer Horror films he watched as a teenager, but living in a creepy old house on the edge of a 500-acre wood may have something to do with it.