Nathaniel Cade: Red White and Blood by Christopher Farnsworth – Book Review [Bane of Kings]

Red, White and Blood

Bane of Kings reviews the third adventure in Christopher Farnsworth’s gripping Nathaniel Cade series, Red White and Blood, published by Hodder in the UK.

“A thrilling ride that proves Farnsworth is a very awesome writer. For those of you who are not on board with this series yet, all you need to know is that a Political Thriller with added vampires and other supernatural creatures make this book one hell of a read.” ~The Founding Fields

I love a good thriller novel, and when it comes with added supernatural element, the better. Christopher Farnsworth’s Blood Oath introduced us to the Vampire Nathaniel Cade, the Secret Agent working for the President of the United States and Zach Barrows, Cade’s ally. Whilst I completley missed the chance to read The President’s Vampire, the follow up, I was relieved to see that there was no cliffhanger ending for that book and Red White and Blood poses as a great returning point for readers who perhaps tried out the first book but didn’t get the second for whatever reason. That also applies to readers who are yet to read any of Nathaniel Cade’s adventures – what the hell are you waiting for? This is some seriously awesome stuff and Christopher Farnsworth is a really strong writer, having two books under his belt already and has ended Book three with a fantastic cliffhanger that really sets the stage for Book Four.

A political operative and a volunteer are brutally murdered. Written in their blood on the wall of the crime scene: IT’S GOOD TO BE BACK.

In 145 years, Nathaniel Cade, the President’s vampire, has fought one particular evil over and over again: the source of urban legends and nightmares across the country. It has gone by many names and guises, but is best known by the one that all children instinctively fear: the Boogeyman. No matter how Cade kills him, the Boogeyman always comes back. When the killer begins targeting the president’s people on the campaign trail, Cade and his human handler, Zach Barrows, are tasked with cleaning up the mess before it spills over into the upcoming election. Cade and Zach must stop the one monster Cade has never been able to defeat completely. And they must do it before the Boogeyman adds another victim to his long and bloody list: the President of the United States himself.

As expected from a thriller/horror blend, the book itself is very gory, bloody and doesn’t let up throughout the book. There are deaths right the way through the book and all the victims of the Boogeyman are dying in gruesome ways. Cade is really tested to his limit in this book and Farnsworth has managed to make the book unpredictable, making it a very entertaining ride particularly as Cade and Zach are as strong characters as ever.

Red, White and BloodFarnsworth sets the book against the backdrop of an election campaign and it’s very interesting to see the political plotting of both sides and the lengths that they will do to control the White House. The political thriller aspect of Red White and Blood is very strong as well, and I would have enjoyed this book on its own if it was just a human serial killer being traced by an agent of the FBI in this political setting. But it’s more than that, the supernatural side of the book that Farnsworth brings to it manages to make it doubly entertaining, especially as vampires actually behave like monsters. There’s no Twilight nonsense here, and fans of the series will already be aware of what Cade is like as a vampire.

The book itself, much like the first one, has a very cinematic feel and at times you feel like you’re reading an action movie. This book fits right in with the books that you’ll find on display in airport shelves but it still remains a welcome addition to any horror or political thriller fan’s library, and that comes at a cost. There’s little room for character development, which is probably the only thing that I disliked about the book, as the characters are in some cases one dimensional and difficult to attach to as it feels like you’re reading a novelisation of a script. However, the premise is enough to draw you in – a vampire secret agent hunting a supernatural serial killer, complete with shadowy government conspiracies and an intense, thrilling read, you’ll soon find yourself not caring about the characters.

The book manages to be gripping, page-turning and very awesome. If, like I said above, horror and/or political thrillers are your thing, then you’ll want in on this book regardless of whether you’ve read Books One and Two. Superb stuff.

VERDICT: 4/5

NATHANIEL CADE SERIES: Blood Oath, The President’s Vampire, Red White and Blood, 

 

Milo, aka Bane of Kings, is a SFF/Comic reader, and watches a lot of TV. His favourite authors are Neil Gaiman, China Mieville, Jim Butcher, Brandon Sanderson & Iain M. Banks, whilst his favourite TV shows are Battlestar Galactica (2003), Person Of Interest, Firefly, Game of Thrones, & Buffy the Vampire Slayer

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