Book review: Hunter of the Dead – Stephen Kozeniewski


To say that I had a lot of fun with this new novel from Stephen Kozeniewski would be an understatement. The cover had me sold a few weeks back when I first saw it. But then I read the synopsis and saw the word “Vampire” mentioned…ohhhh, I said to myself. Now I will admit, I am not the biggest vamp fan in the world but this book is bloody great. At 300+ pages it feels nice to get into something that has depth and multiple layers to it. The plot is fairly straightforwards in that a number of Vampires are being killed, most believe this to be buy the Inquisitors – a group of Vampire hunters who have been forever at war with the bloodsucking undead. However, the head vamp (Cicatrice) has another theory…a theory that revolves around an age old demon called the Hunter of the Dead!

There are a lot of things I like about this novel. The first is the characters. The bickering Vampires all have their own personalities and are as laugh out loud as they are brutal. Idi Han – the youngest Vampire and heir to to Cicatrice is excellent; a real handful, incredibly powerful, she is one of the books very best characters along with Cicatrice. The head Vampire is a monster, he has a real authority about him and has the grudging respect of most of the other Vampire houses and is a fascinating character. Of the humans, Carter Price is most amusing. A drunk Inquisitor who reluctantly takes a young man (Nico) under is wing in his quest to find out the truth, if there is any about the Hunter of the Dead. I had an image of James Woods from the John Carpenter Vampire movie in my head every time there was a chapter with him in. He is a wise-cracking, hard drinking big mouth but often quite funny, especially his banter with Nico and the other Inquisitors.

The pacing of this novel is great, and it needs to be at just over 400 pages, but Kozeniewski keeps you reading long into the night. The start of the book can take a few chapters to find your feet and there is a fair bit of jumping around with looks into the past, but I enjoyed this. The Vampire mythology was well explored and I didn’t think the pacing suffered from it at all, it merely added to the depth of the story. The dialogue is also a highlight. It is funny when it needs to be but doesn’t overdo it and gore hounds will be delighted by some very imaginative deaths. Heads roll, bodies sliced in half and spines crushed – wonderful stuff!

Relationships are formed , truces are broken and it all leads to a thrilling finally in Las Vegas – the new Necropolis!

‘Hunter of the Dead’ is an excellent novel. It is funny, gory, epic in scale and pushed all of the right buttons for this reader.

Buy ‘Hunter of the Dead’ from here and look for Stephen this week (Sunday September 11th) when he talks about his latest release in BTB Storytellers.

Hunter of the Dead tour graphic (2).jpeg

Follow along with the hashtags: #HunteroftheDead #VampireCivilWar #HookofaBook #SinisterGrinPress

 Hunter of the Dead, Synopsis and Info

  • File Size:931 KB
  • Print Length:314 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage:Unlimited
  • Publisher:Sinister Grin Press (August 15, 2016)
  • Publication Date:August 15, 2016


Someone has begun targeting vampires.

Vampire leaders of the thirteen Houses attribute the string of recent losses to over-zealous vampire hunters. Only Cicatrice, the most ancient and powerful vampire in the world, suspects that the semi-legendary Hunter of the Dead may be the real culprit.

Carter Price, a vampire hunter who despises the way his profession is becoming centralized and corporatized, begins to suspect the Hunter of the Dead is back, too – and no longer distinguishing between vampires and mortals. Against his better judgment, Price agrees to work with Cicatrice.

The uneasy allies attempt to uncover the truth about the Hunter, while a vampire civil war brews in the background. But perhaps most difficult of all, they must contend with their new apprentices, who seem to be falling in love with each other against every rule of man and monster…

Stephen Kozeniewski, Biography

Stephen Kozeniewski (pronounced “causin’ ooze key”) lives in Pennsylvania, the birthplace of the modern zombie. During his time as a Field Artillery officer, he served for three years in Oklahoma and one in Iraq, where due to what he assumes was a clerical error, he was awarded the Bronze Star. He is also a classically trained linguist, which sounds much more impressive than saying his bachelor’s degree is in German.

Praise for Kozeniewski

“I have never enjoyed a writer’s writing as much as I have with Stephen Kozeniewski. I cannot wait to get my hands on HUNTER OF THE DEAD!”

– Phillip Tomasso, author of the VACCINATION series


“Kozeniewski is a rich voice that booms over his peers. I am coming to think of him as the closest thing to the reincarnation or spiritual successor of Ray Bradbury.”

– David Sharp, Horror Underground (now Cinema Bluster)


“Kozeniewski never fails to entertain with his bizarre and cavernous stories.”

– K.P. Ambroziak, author of A PERPETUAL MIMICRY


“I don’t know how he does it, but every one of Kozeniewski’s books offers something totally unique and compelling to the reader.”

– Sharon Stevenson, author of the RAISED and GALLOWS series


“As many people know by now, I am a fan of Kozeniewski, maybe even a bit of a fangirl…It doesn’t matter to me what he is writing, I will read it.”

– Sheilah Randall, Cellar Door Book Reviews


“I’m not usually a standalone novelist sort of fellow but a friend of mine asked me who I thought was the best standalone novelist I read in independent fiction…after a long time, I decided the answer was Stephen Kozeniewski.”

– C.T. Phipps, author of the SUPERVILLAINY SAGA


“What I love most about Kozy’s work is that they’re unique…It’s something fresh and new every time.”

– Shawn Remfrey, Literary Litter


Purchase Links


Find Hunter of the Dead and more great horror titles for any taste at the Sinister Grin Press site. Horror That’ll Carve a Smile on Your Face!

Also available in paperback!


Media? Wish to Feature?


If you are a member of the media or a blogger that wishes to review Hunter of the Dead, or feature Stephen, contact Erin Al-Mehairi, publicity and marketing, Sinister Grin Press, at hookofabook(at)hotmail(dot)com.




One Comment Add yours

  1. C.T. Phipps says:

    I think Hunter of the Dead’s vampires are some of the meanest, nastiest, and scariest examples of the creatures in fiction. Really great insights into the book and another great post from the Grim Reader.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s