What's the best way to approach Newman's brilliant new addition to his reinvention of the Dracula myth? Is it to expect an eccentrically plotted, flesh-tingling horror tale with some stunningly orchestrated (and grisly) set pieces? Or is it look for a highly intelligent, post-modern riff on the vampire concept, stuffed full of clever and witty references to both real-life and fictional characters? Actually, it's both. Since the groundbreaking Anno Dracula
, Newman has not been content to turn out merely efficient and atmospheric thrillers (although he can do that as effortlessly as anyone in the genre); clearly what excites him is to extrapolate elements of an over-familiar genre into a richly textured picture of a society: Victorian England in Anno Dracula
, and a fascinatingly realised Rome in the late 1950s in this latest book. Into this world of La Dolce Vita, paparazzi and coins in fountains, Newman injects his highly individual spin on a society in which vampirism is endemic. The jet setters, intellectuals and vampires of the Eternal City are talking about the forthcoming marriage of Count Dracula (in Italian exile from Transylvania) to the Moldavian Princess Asa Vajda. Some speculate that this is the first step in Dracula's master plan: to reassert his supremacy as Lord of the Undead. But this is essentially a backdrop to Newman's real story--an implacable, terrifying and enigmatic figure known as the Crimson Executioner is bloodily dispatching vampires in the city. Coming closer and closer to some grim revelations is Newman's insecure journalist heroine Kate, but the masterstroke here is the involvement of undead British secret agent Bond. However, this isn't quite Ian Fleming's sardonic character: and the other literary characters finding themselves involved in the operatic blood-letting include Patricia Highsmith's Tom Ripley, among many others. The brilliance and wit with which Newman reinvents these characters and incorporates them into his own outrageous narrative will probably make it difficult to ever see them in the same light again. But never do these mordantly funny reinventions overwhelm the inexorable progress of the plot, and Kate, struggling with her own vampirism, is a heroine as richly characterised as any in mainstream fiction. And when it comes to delivering the goods in terms of the gruesome, Newman has few equals:
Something she'd never seen before happened to Malenka. Pockets of blubber bulged under Malenka's skin, inflating her face, her belly, her thighs, her torso, her arms. She ballooned, splitting like overcooked sausage. White stuff, veined with red, bubbled out of her rent skin. Her dress exploded.
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
He writes with sparkling verve... Dracula Cha Cha Cha has full rations of gore, shocks and sly laughs --The Times
"Newman is at his best when creating vampire works, and Dracula Cha Cha Cha is easily one of the best vampire stories ever told. Check it out today!" --BioGamer Girl
"Newman does it again. He s taken his own story, filled it with characters and themes from a variety of different sources and yet somehow managed to create something original that somehow fills you with a sense of nostalgia." --Bad Haven
"A fun, sly read for both Anno Dracula fans as well as newcomers. It manages a fine balance between seriousness and jokey irrelevance. Roll on the next Anno Dracula book we say!" --SciFi Movie Hype review
"If you already read this book when it first came out and you're a fan of Newman's, you might want to get it anyway. Because A) Titan Books really gave those books some absolutely fantastic covers ("Dracula Cha Cha Cha" has a cover like an old school movie poster; very stylish) and B) there's an additional brand new novella included here called "The Aquarius". I won't spoil that one at all, but it's the same level of quality of writing. So yeah, get it." --Trash Mutant review
"Enjoy the book for it s weird quirkiness and movie star surprises." --Atomic Moo
"The story adds a heady mix of mystery, thriller and alternative history to create something utterly unique." --One Metal Review
--This text refers to an alternate