If an old leather-bound book turns up on your desk and falls open to an image of a dragon with a long, looped tail: hit the road, Jack, and don't come back. Good advice not heeded by the leading characters in Elizabeth Kostova's smash-hit debut novel The Historian, presented here in a fabulous ensemble performance by six eloquent audio readers. The narrator is only 16 when this dark, atmospheric, horror-tinged tale begins, but her father's obsession with the dragon and what it stands for goes back 20 years and his university mentor's another 20 years before that. These are passionate scholars who take on the quest to find the legendary vampire, Dracula, and destroy him before he destroys them. All is revealed through letters, long-held reminiscences, obscure texts and ancient archives. The pace is fast, the landscapes exotic, the train trips extensive, the plot deliciously arcane.

comments powered by Disqus