Review: ‘The Truants’ by Lee Markham

The Truants by Lee Markham
The Overlook Press (July 2017)
256 pages; $6.99 paperback; $12.99 e-book
Reviewed by Frank Michaels Errington

The Truants is Lee Markham’s debut novel and, in some ways, it shows.

I admit I had a love-hate relationship with this book. It was a bit esoteric for me and the author had an annoying habit of just listing the character’s actions. For example…

She looks at him, and shakes her head. Then she pulls the sheet up and over his face, hangs the notes back on the end of the bed and pads out of the room. The door swishes quietly closed behind her. And the boy sits up. The sheet falls away and his eyes open. They are pale. Blue irises. They’d been brown, like his skin, when he died. But now they are pale, as is his skin without blood. He has changed.

The writing style aside, there is much to like in The Truants. Without ever mentioning vampires, the author manages to tell the story of the last of their kind who, a week apart, end things on the same park bench by staying out in the sun. But, due to unforeseen circumstances, they are doomed to begin again.

And he dies. For just a moment, he dies, and he submits, and he gives himself to me.  This feral little rat-child kneels before me and prays for my grace. I give it to him. Then I open our eyes. And we rise.

Overall, The Truants is decidedly different, in a good way. Twisted, and filled with some remarkable imagery, and a creep factor which is exceptionally high.

Recommended with the reservations listed above.

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