Some kind of unknown and unseen animal is killing the area ranchers cattle. The sheriff is stumped. Experts from the university have never encountered anything like it. The ranchers are tired of finding their livelihood dead in the pastures the next morning and are losing patience waiting for someone to provide them answers. Keith is one of them. He's had his run-ins with the sheriff and the local band of punks. He was considered a loose cannon before he lost his wife. Now, without her calming influence, Keith has turned to alcohol to help him face his demons and get him through his day. On a night half drunk and slumbering on his porch, he's awakened by a high pitch squeal in his pasture. What he finds, attacking one of his cattle, is pure fury and stinks of the grave.
Burden Kansas is my first read from Ryker and I can't say enough about it. The characters are perfectly flawed and realistic. The small town rural setting reminds me of the lonliness and tone found in the movie Near Dark. The pacing is excellent. The relationships between the characters are realistic and add wonderful depth and layers to the story. Ryker's vampires are how they should be - fast, furious, and definitely do not sparkle. Great, great story that has caused me to download more of his work before I was even done with this one.
5 bloody fangs out of 5
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