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Those Who Hunt the Night by Barbara Hambly

Those Who Hunt the Night (1988)

by Barbara Hambly

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: James Asher - Vampire Series (1)

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Showing 1-5 of 21 (next | show all)
A new killer is afoot on the streets of Sherlock Holmes-era London. The difference is that this killer is targeting London's vampires, who have existed in the city for several hundred years. Someone, or something, is opening their coffins during the day, thereby exposing them to sunlight, and certain death.

Simon Ysidro, London's oldest vampire, enlists the help of James Asher, an instructor at Oxford University, and former British spy, to investigate. Asher is given little choice in the matter. Any non-cooperation or attempts at double-crossing on Asher's part will lead to his young wife, Lydia, a medical doctor, becoming the newest member of London's vampire population.

Taking great pains to keep Lydia as safe as possible, Asher and Ysidro visit the now-empty coffins, looking for clues. Ysidro is less than cooperative, not wanting to reveal too much as possible about life as a vampire. Lydia undertakes her own investigation, looking for anomalies in house ownership records, or people who have lived much longer than normal, while spending her nights reading medical journals.

Asher learns that turning someone into a vampire is not as easy as just drinking their blood. More than that is involved, and it does not work all the time. Asher and Ysidro travel to Paris, where they meet Brother Anthony, a very old and frail-looking vampire who lives underground in the Catacombs. Asher also narrowly escapes getting his blood drained by several French vampires.

Returning to London, Asher learns that Lydia, increasingly concerned about his lack of communication, has taken matters into her own hands. Does Asher find her in time? Is the culprit found and stopped? Does this have anything to do with a sudden rash of "unexplained" deaths in London, whose victims have had their blood drained?

This is a really good novel, but not a very fast moving novel. It will take some effort on the part of the reader, but that effort will be rewarded, because Hambly shows that she knows how to tell a story. It is worth checking out. ( )
  plappen | Feb 18, 2017 |
Oooh. Hambly is very good at characterization, and I always find myself intrigued by her characters. She seems to like taking fantasy tropes and twisting them a bit—not in an annoying, Piers Anthony way of punning and “ooh look how clever and cheeky we are, playing with these stereotypes,” but instead by adding a dash of realism and a spoonful of human emotion. Thus her 1900s spy gets PTSD and tries to retire to an academic life, only to be pulled back into violence by a vampiric threat to his lady love, a beautiful, wealthy and spunky woman. She also hates wearing glasses for her nearsightedness, burned many of her bridges in order to become a doctor, and doesn’t respond to the vampires threatening her life in a ladylike fashion. The plot is well-paced and exciting, and the evil is both insidious and horrifying. I would definitely recommend this to anyone, especially to people who enjoy AC Doyle or late Victorian England. ( )
  wealhtheowwylfing | Feb 29, 2016 |
This was Okay. I like Barbara Hambly but am not a big fan of vampire stories. So somehow it didn't click for me and I won't pursue the series. ( )
  infjsarah | Sep 27, 2015 |
A well-written and somewhat atypical vampire story. The premise; what if someone is hunting and killing vampires by day and they need the help of a human agent to track down the killer? Hambly does an admirable job of developing her characters and plotting her way through this fun - occasionally grisly - tale. I will definitely be reading the sequel as I had a great time with this opening volume. ( )
  ScoLgo | Aug 10, 2015 |
I can’t remember exactly when I read "Those Who Hunt The Night" by Barbara Hambly, but I remember buying it from the local library book sale. The pages have a certain scent to them…I’ve never smelled it on a book before, but it was very…old and bookish, if that makes any sense.

For the record, I picked it up, not because it had vampires in it, but because Barbara Hambly wrote it. I’d read "The Winterlands Quartet" by her and loved the language and description so much that this was an instant sell. I’d actually never understood the interest in vampires until I read this. But once I did…I got it. Or at least, here was a vampire story I could sink my teeth into, if you’ll pardon the pun.

The premise of the story is that someone is killing off the vampires of London. Because these murders are taking place during the day, one of the vampires, an ancient Spanish noble named Ysidro, takes a chance on enlisting aid from the human Oxford professor James Asher. It’s great creepy gothic fun and plays with the ideas of humanity. Really, read this for the language, if nothing else. I enjoyed the story, but the simple act of reading it was a joy. And I really like Ysidro because he really gives off the feeling that he isn’t human. Not anymore, and you really can’t fully trust him because the whole while he’s running his own agenda. Whether you survive or not depends completely on his word…and how useful you are. No sparkles or vegetarian vamps here. ( )
1 vote Starsister12 | Jan 18, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 21 (next | show all)
suspense réglé au poil, décors superbement ciselés par une plume toute en finesse, personnage dont les relations sont crédibles et prenantes, et j'allais oublier, énigme “scientifique”, puisqu'il s'agit aussi de comprendre la vraie nature et origine des créatures en question. Aucune raison de se priver, donc, du plaisir de ce livre dont les vampires sont tels que je les conçois : des dandys immortels qui ont plus à voir avec les Danseurs de la fin des temps de Michael Moorcock qu'avec les brutes répugnantes de Newman.
Le Sang d'immortalité est à la fois un polar passionnant,(agréablement kitsch, comme il se doit quand on écrit dans un style à la Sherlock Holmes), et un roman d'horreur trés efficace : pas d'effets de Grand-Guignol, nulle trace de gore, Barbara Hambly joue sur du velours, bâtit l'angoisse par petites touches, sans avoir l'air d'y toucher. On avait déjà pu apprécier ses talents dans le domaine de la terreur avec la trilogie Darwath (en français au C.L.A. Opta), sorte d'alchimie entre Lovecraft et Tolkien. Cette fois on se trouve du côté de Bram Stoker et de Conan Doyle, et la réussite est encore plus éclatante !

» Add other authors (7 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Hambly, BarbaraAuthorprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Herder,EdwinCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Jackson, GildartNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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For Adrian and Victoria
First words
"The train departs at eight, and it is many years since public transportation has awaited the convenience of persons of breeding. Will you come?" (Don Ysidro, chapter 1, p.15)
Naturally, he reflected wryly, there wasn't a greengrocer open at this hour, and he would look fairly foolish investigating back-garden vegetable patches for garlic en route to the station ... totally aside from missing his train. And given the general standard of British cookery, searching for garlic would be a futile task at best. (Asher's reflections, chapter 2, p.18)
He turned back to the tambour desk in one corner, its top, like everything else in the room, a foot and a half thick in books, in this case the collected works of Bulwer-Lytton -- by its appearance, well-thumbed, too. Asher shuddered. The solitary vampire's evenings must have hung heavy indeed. (Asher's reflections, chapter 5, p.80)
"I have no sense of being at home here -- this sterile, inorganic town where everything is thrice washed before and after anyone touches it. It is the same everywhere, of course, but in Paris it seems particularly ironic. They seem to have taken this man Pasteur very seriously." (Don Ysidro, chapter 11, p.152)
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Disambiguation notice
"Those Who Hunt the Night" was also published as "Immortal Blood" (in the UK).
"Gruselkabinett: Jagd der Vampire" is the title for the audio play, in German, of "Those Who Hunt the Night".
"Those Who Hunt the Night" was published as "Cazadores Nocturnos" in Spanish.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0345361326, Mass Market Paperback)

Who's been killing the vampires of London, tearing open their coffins to let in lethal sunshine as they sleep--and then drinking their blood?
"Hambly's examination of vampirism is beautifully detailed, with a fine realistic background and strong sense of atmosphere...Will give Anne Rice a run for her money."--Publishers Weekly

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:25:31 -0400)

The vampires had been living in London since the time of Elizabeth I, but now they were being ruthlessly murdered by someone who ripped their coffins open for the light of day to burn them to ashes. No vampire could endure the daylight to destroy the murderer. They had to turn to a mortal human for aid.… (more)

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