What would happen if a slave ship from Europe transported the first vampire from Africa to the Americas during the eighteenth century? How would a singular voyage over rough seas change the course of history in the New World?
The Horror of Herring Hill, a prequel to Frederick Louis Richardson’s debut novel, Black Rush, offers a glimpse into how forced immigration of African slaves changed the tenuous relationship between colonists ruled by the Crown in faraway England and the natives already inhabiting the imaginary island of Mal de Mer somewhere in the beautiful Caribbean.
From the moment a band of misfits as well as experienced sailors decide to leave the docks in the British Isles to sail away in hopes of better fortune, their fate is sealed by the decision of the ship’s captain to bring along a winsome girl named Siata with hidden canine teeth and the inherent ability to extend her neck several times over.
Read how it feels to cross the restless Atlantic with only the help of sheeting for sails, sheer nautical skills and God’s wind on the clipper named Her Ladyship the William George. It doesn’t take long before certain appetites must be satisfied, and that creates the inevitable problem of discovery.
After a hellish voyage where almost no one survives, the ship is blown terribly off-course into the warm soothing waters of the Caribbean. What awaits is a rocky archipelago risen from the ocean covered by lush greenery hinting at the hope most certainly felt by the crew when the ship set sail.
Herring Hill is an outpost of civility and order governed by the British meritocracy. But surrounding this polite society are also natives of every hue and origin who have come to call Mal de Mer home. This is where the child-like vampire, Siata, is welcomed by God’s servants as charity would dictate. Life on the island gets very interesting as you are introduced to new characters. After all, we do call this book The Horror of Herring Hill.
Frederick Louis Richardson continues his own unique interpretation of vampires that he began in his signature novel, Black Rush. All the while you are reading, you might be tempted to wonder if history may just have happened this way. You feel as though you are on the William George as it roils the sea. One can’t but have sympathy for the doomed crew and the helpless slaves chained in the ship’s hold and at the same time root for the survival of the little nymph causing all the mayhem. Finally, you may catch yourself breathing a sigh of relief when the Jesuits on the island get involved because good always triumphs over evil – right?
Written as a companion and prequel to the well-regarded horror novel, Black Rush, Richardson has filled out the saga at the beginning with more installments to be released later. The Horror of Herring Hill is designed for good screen reading on your favorite device – good writing, perfect length and excitement all the way. Just be careful not to walk into traffic while you’re reading.