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Valour Diamond is an adult vampire horror fiction book about a group of vampires called Operation Diamond who are paid by the government to solve the most sinister of human and supernatural crimes. The vampires are second generation and only drink animals’ blood, having evolved over centuries to live alongside humans, Nex and Vita wear protective suits sothey can move around during the day. The book begins with the start of Diamond’s attempts to track down and capture the “Rhyme and Retribution Killer” who commits a series ofsadistic, horrific and merciless murders, always leaving a nursery rhyme behind. The following chapter switches to the murderer’s perspective and it sees him interacting with his latest victim. We learn of the creator’s (Arthur’s) history and that he told his daughter off for seeing things which were not there, minutes before his family was slaughtered by a werewolf, and he, himself, was turned. He vowed to set Diamond up to stop the supernatural beings from taking over. An examination of the clues reveals that they are looking at the nursery rhymes all wrong; the texts are not a statement on the current victim, but a clue which indicates the next victim. The sub-plot involves the growing ‘relationship’ between Nex and Alexa, the human psychologist and the formation of Vita’s new ‘feminine’ suit. The next victim’s crime scene causes one of the most powerful vampires (Clem) to become injured, this eventually leads to her attacking the team and consequently been sedated and placed on a blood IV to replenish her blood supply. Tensions boil over and explode within the team, who turn against each other as the stress build; with the case, with Nex and with Clem. The news that Alexa is missing refocuses the team. They solve the nursery rhyme and head out, Vita stays at home. Diamond are now involved in a cat-and-mouse game which eventually leads them to the killer’s lair to find Alexa, limp, with her ribs on show. A distraught Nex collapses next to her as the others attempt to fight off the man, who turns around to reveal his demon-possessed body. He taunts them before slitting the human’s neck and leaving his body. Nex decides the only way to save Alexa is to turn her. The team wake up at home confused and all hooked up to blood, the mood becomes happier and lighter, just before another phone call comes in: Another body has turned up, a young boy. This is a dark, sinister book which shows an important change in the representation of vampires in literature today. Whilst the vampires in this novel are still at times evil themselves they are capable of sparking our empathy and are intimate to us on a whole new level.

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