Mr and Mrs Radley are very normal, thank you very much. They listen to Radio 4, just like you. They have dinner parties, just like you. They try to recycle, and they don’t do it properly, just like you. There some things they do that you probably don’t do. Like drink blood. You won’t find any capes or coffins in this house. Their home properly resembles something out of Next Home than Hammer Horror. The Radley’s are vampires in human clothing. Unlike Uncle Will.
You can imagine what type of books this is; normal, idyllic family life is thrown into chaos when the black sheep visits. However, the Radley’s are the black sheep. Please get Twilight and the Cullens out of your head. These vampires are cultured, clever and want to be human. Matt Haig has taken a monster you know and given it a unique twist, far more grounded and relatable than the Calvin Klein models featured in other works of fiction. These characters are awkward and flawed, they just want a happy easy life.
Peter, Helen and their children Rowan and Clara are so endearing. I fell in love with them, a sentence I never thought I’d say about vampires. That’s the beauty of Matt Haig’s writing. He makes humans. He made an alien human in The Humans and he’s made blood suckers the lovely, if not slightly unusual, family next door. You’ll recognise the family and the myth. It’s not without its suspense and danger, this is a fast paced novel! It’s an uplifting mongrel of a book; part family saga, part horror, part thriller. I dare you not to love it.