The Fifth House of the Heart
Asmodeus “Sax” Saxon-Tang is the first to admit he’s a coward. However, it didn’t prevent him from walking into the lairs of two vampires and stealing their treasures – and vampires have the best treasure.
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“. . . a neat twist on the vampire legend . . .”
As an international trader in antiquities he is well-placed to dispose of the loot. Over the decades from the Swinging Sixties to the present day, he’s amassed quite a fortune and a reputation that’s hard to beat. Not bad for a crotchety, elderly homosexual, a self-described cross between Quentin Crisp and Torquemada.
When the watchman at his warehouse in New York City is killed and a valuable clock stolen, Sax realizes he’s come to the attention of a vampire, and that’s never good. He senses the creature is reacquiring treasures which once formed its formidable collection, one that was “liberated” and dispersed after World War II. With a band of mercenaries and a Catholic priest in tow, Sax must locate and destroy the vampire before it destroys him. The trail leads from the glittering world of Bollywood in Mumbai, India, to France and the depths of Germany. Sax knows he must face incredible and cunning evil – and it’s a toss-up as to who will come off best.
Ben Tripp’s The Fifth House of the Heart is a thoroughly enjoyable tale told with delicious humor and a neat twist on the vampire legend. Saxon-Tang is a great protagonist of the unconventional sort. An extensive knowledge of history and antiquities is deftly seeded throughout the story in a way that enhances the plot without weighing it down. A must for anyone who loves caper novels with a real gutsy storyline.
Reviewer: Cindy A. Matthews