Friday, January 31, 2014

A Family Steeped in Blood

Countess Elizabeth Bathory was one of history's most prolific and well documented serial killers. The House of Bathory is based on her life. The book alternates between telling the chilling story of the Countess and a modern horror story in which a psychiatrist, Dr. Betsy Path and her patient, Daisy Hart become involved with a scion of the family living in the ancestral castle.

The Countess was infamous for her nighttime activities in which she murdered young girls and bathed in their blood as a way of keeping her youthful complexion. Betsy, Daisy, and Grace, Betsy's mother, become involved with the present Count who wants something Daisy's father took.

The action moves from present day Colorado to Slovakia. The author alternates chapters between the events of the past and the present day story. While this can be difficult for the reader to follow, I had no problem with the style. I think it helps that the chapters are short. You don't forget one story thread while reading another.

I enjoyed this book because of the historical detail. I had heard of the Countess, but reading the novel made her environment come alive. I didn't find the modern story as compelling. I didn't feel connected to the characters. This could have been due to moving between the time periods.

If you like historical novels laced with horror, you'll enjoy this book.

I reviewed this book for the Amazon Vine Program.