Sunday 18 November 2018

Don't blame the victims

The TruantsThe Truants begins on a park bench. As dawn approaches, a vampire who has been alive since pre-history, is waiting to end his life. A teenager approaches, demands money, pulls out a knife and stabs him. In the immediate aftermath, the knife infects two children with the old-one's blood, thwarting his suicide attempt and allowing him to intermittently control the victims: Peter, an infant who has been abused since birth; Danny, a beloved son who enjoys Harry Potter.

Author Lee Markham was inspired by real life events: murders committed by children; the London riots during summer 2011. So the book shines a light on the hellish life for many in today's Britain. Generations have lived with abuse, yet society "blames the victims of [the] sins for the sins [-] perpetrated against them." It warns that once life becomes hopeless, when "there is nothing to lose, and perhaps nothing even to gain, then why not just lash out?"

Then again, if you're just after a decent horror story, the book provides some gory scenes and a gripping account of a desperate search to retrieve a bloodied knife before it infects the city.

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