Tuesday, 10 January 2017

Beneath the Floodlights - Martin Tracey

After a hard season the team, Kingsbarr United are down and Johnny Knox, the local football hero takes his normal pilgrimage to Transylvania, where he lost his son, Callum. The main characters son went missing years ago and he keeps going back in a hope of finding him. On the trip something more surprising happens and he ends up coming home with a young boy. The problem is that he is no ordinary boy, and when he starts crying out for blood and the cat comes back to life, people begin to ask questions.  He is not the only one. Now there are vampires in England, and they want to join the football team. Will Kingsbarr United ever be the same again?

When first hearing about this book, I assumed that it would be a very light read, footballing vampires, it has to be a laugh a minute. What surprised me was the starting point. The main character has lost his son and goes every year to the place he went missing. With his heart broken, he travels the area hoping against all odds in finding him, and we are drawn into his loss.

For me, even when we talk about fantasy and myths, it still has to feel real or it loses its impact, what I found hard was finding a boy, and not deciding to take him to the local authorities, but he uses his son’s passport, puts him on a plane, without any real contemplation, and then accepts him into his home. It needed to be done in order to move the plot along, yet it jarred a little for me. Saying that, it moved well, the writing nicely paced. The characters are enjoyable to get to know. Johnny and his family, the team and even the vampire coven all play a part in creating a very unique story.

The characters grow throughout, and I found the biggest change in Professor Cesar. From wanting to increase his coven, falling in love and ultimately willing to sacrifice himself to save others. It was a fast, fun, fascinating read.