Sleeping Angel (Ravenwood Series)

BOOK: Sleeping Angel (Ravenwood Series)
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Sleeping Angel


A Ravenwood Mystery


Mia James


This book is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places and incidents are products of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual events, locales or persons, living or dead are entirely coincidental.


Copyright 2012 by Mia James

All rights reserved

Including the right of reproduction in whole or in part in any form


Eleven Books 2014

Originally published in Great Britain by Orion Publishing

About the author


Mia James is the pseudonym of the bestselling author Tasmina Perry and her journalist husband John Perry. Between them they have sold over a million books. They live in London.
Sleeping Angel
is the third book in the acclaimed Ravenwood series.

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Or Twitter @miajamesbooks


Books by Mia James




By Midnight

Darkness Falls

Sleeping Angel




About the author

Books by Mia James


Praise for Mia James


Chapter One

Chapter Two

Chapter Three

Chapter Four

Chapter Five

Chapter Six

Chapter Seven

Chapter Eight

Chapter Nine

Chapter Ten

Chapter Eleven

Chapter Twelve

Chapter Thirteen

Chapter Fourteen

Chapter Fifteen

Chapter Sixteen

Chapter Seventeen

Chapter Eighteen

Chapter Nineteen

Chapter Twenty

Chapter Twenty-One

Chapter Twenty-Two

Chapter Twenty-Three

Chapter Twenty-Four

Chapter Twenty-Five

Chapter Twenty-Six

Chapter Twenty-Seven

Chapter Twenty-Eight

Chapter Twenty-Nine

Chapter Thirty

Chapter Thirty-One

Chapter Thirty-Two

Chapter Thirty-Three

Praise for Mia James


'A lethal world of murders, vampires and terrifying secrets…destined to take a large bite out of Stephanie Meyer's monopoly of the  teenage vampire scene' -
Daily Record

‘Forget about Edward and Bella, Gabriel and April are the top couple now’ -

‘The whole book is dripping in Gothic horror’
My Favourite Books

‘The plot is fast and furious…lots of twists, lots of action, and some great dialogue’

‘Intense, explosive, gripping. Mia James has shown that the Brits can compete with the US vampire scene. April might be the UK’s equivalent of Buffy’ - 
Serendipity Reviews

‘An awesome series’ –
Overflowing Library

‘I love the setting for these books. Highgate Cemetery in London is so spooky and creepy and wonderfully atmospheric’ –
A Dream of Books

‘A sophisticated series’ –
The Telegraph






Highgate Cemetery, North London, Six months ago


There was blood on his hands. Black and warm, it ran down his fingers and onto the path. He held them up, the stained skin catching the moonlight, mesmerised. But
blood? Whose? And how had it got there?

Behind him, there was a snap and he dropped, his body tensed for fight or flight, ears alert. He could hear the rain beating on the leaves above him, hear as it condensed into drops and then fell, fat and ripe onto his soaked back. He could hear the scratch of an animal – Fox? Badger? – in the bush far to his left. And he could hear the wind from the east. The cars rushing up Highgate Hill. His own heart.

And something else.

He moved back into the shadows, allowing the darkness of the cemetery to envelop him like an embrace. This was his home, the one place he felt whole, freed from the frowns and the glances – and the hunger. For a while at least.

He looked down at his hands again. Too dark, but he could feel the scratches, deep welts, as if something had dragged its claws down them. And there was a swelling pain in his knee, his jeans were torn, caked in mud and leaves.

Have I been fighting?

‘Think, dammit,’ he said, pressing fingers against his temples. If he stayed very still, pictures came to him: there was a man, a man with dark eyes, as if a child had scrawled them on, with drawings on his arms and chest, a star on his shoulder. And a beautiful girl with shining yellow hair. And there was music – loud, loud music that made his ears hurt.

But that was a long time ago – wasn’t it?
Or only yesterday.

And then the pictures were gone, popped like a soap bubble, because suddenly his eyes were open, his senses tingling. Something was coming.

He began to run uphill, his sure feet following the old wall. Up to his left, through the stooping trees he saw the old black gate. Crouching again, he crept forward, his breath sending little clouds into the air. Ahead of him was an overgrown path and – there! – lying in the centre was a dark shape. A body. Human, still moving. Still alive.

‘Isabelle?’ he whispered.
The name had just come to him, appeared in his head like a subtitle.
But I don’t know anyone called Isabelle. Do I?

His nostrils flared; there was something else here. Blood, a lot more blood. And something
. Not a Bleeder, masking their scent with those sickly artificial flowers, but something like him. One who smelled of death.

He tensed again as there was a screech, like a cry of pain – then another. Foxes? Rats? He couldn’t tell. His senses were dulling, the darkness seemed to be growing around him, soaking up the light like fog.

‘Hello? Is anyone there?’ said a voice and he could see the figure framed against an open gate, backlit by the hissing streetlight. A girl: he could smell that much. But not just any girl – it was

Oh God,
he thought,
it’s coming
. The thing. The thing with the eyes.

He jumped to his feet and ran towards her, effortlessly lifting the girl from her feet. Up and out onto the road.

‘Go, quickly!’ he hissed.

The dark-haired girl looked up, the moon catching her face.

She’s beautiful
, he thought.
Beautiful and ...

‘Get out of here!’ he cried. ‘GO!’

Then he turned back to the darkness. And it swallowed him whole.



Chapter One


It was a bright day as April stepped off the train. The sun was pushing through the paper white cloud but it did nothing to raise the temperature.
Late spring in England
, she thought.
Isn’t it supposed to be sunshine and roses by now?
Her breath puffed in front of her and she shivered as she followed the signs off the platform and down through the black iron gates into the cemetery.

April’s best friend Fiona had been very excited when she had heard that Miss Holden was being buried at Brookwood. ‘It’s the biggest cemetery in Europe. It’s like a city of death!’ she had enthused.

‘And that’s supposed to be a good thing?’

The last thing April wanted in her life was more death – there had been plenty of that over the past few months. And she certainly wasn’t in the mood to get excited about going to the funeral of her teacher.

‘Come on April, it’ll be fascinating,’ said Fiona. ‘Brookwood was built to deal with London’s population boom in the nineteenth century. There were so many burials every day, the cemetery had their own train station in London.’

April had actually been pleased to find that the spookily-named “Necropolis Station” at Waterloo was long gone – bombed in the war, the man in the ticket booth had told her – but Brookwood still had its own station out in the leafy Surrey countryside.

But beyond that the cemetery was a disappointment. Fee’s description had made April think it would be one of those grand old Victorian cemeteries like Highgate, with ornate gates and tombs, but April thought it looked more like a neglected farm. Just a load of empty fields and rusting signs reading “No photography”.

April walked along a gravel path towards the cemetery chapel, past a huge rusting conveyor belt machine, its long neck pointing up towards the sky.

Perhaps I’ve been spoilt by Highgate
, she thought. Highgate Cemetery was crammed with beautiful statues of angels and pillars and tombs, all of it magnificently overgrown and wilfully spooky. But then Highgate was not only full of bodies – Highgate was full of vampires.

It had sounded such a sleepy place when her dad had described where they were moving from Edinburgh the previous autumn. She could still remember driving into the little north London village for the first time, and despairing at how boring it looked. She couldn’t have been more wrong.

But back then, April had thought that horror movies were stupid, just a load of people running around in rubber masks, spraying fake blood everywhere. But now she knew those “masks” could be real, and that the monsters inside were real-life vicious killers.

Well, not all of them,
thought April.
Not Gabriel.

Her heart gave a little leap as she thought of her boyfriend: his dark eyes, the upturn at the corner of his mouth when he smiled at her. And the way he had looked that night Miss Holden had been killed, standing on the roof of Mr Sheldon’s burning house, surrounded by flames as he’d taken her hand and jumped off the edge. He’d looked so ... vulnerable, but still sexy. Was that possible?

April snorted to herself. Anything was possible these days. Her school – the elite Ravenwood school on Highgate Hill – was riddled with vampires. It was a front for a giant global blood-sucking conspiracy and – oh yeah – it turned out that April herself was a “Fury”, some sort of ass-kicking vamp-slayer whose blood was just about the only thing that could make the undead dead again.

Reaching a fork in the path, April looked around nervously. She didn’t want to find herself wandering into some grisly cul-de-sac, surrounded by unfamiliar graves; she had enough of the familiar kind to worry about. She turned at footsteps behind her.

‘You looking for the funeral? Annabel Holden?’ asked a man in a long black overcoat.

‘Uncle Peter!’ cried April, ‘What are you doing here?’

‘Heavens, April,’ said the man, obviously startled. ‘I didn’t recognise you from behind. Have you just come in on the London train too?’

He took off his glasses and ran a hand through his white hair; he looked flustered, distracted.

‘Yes, just arrived,’ said April, ‘Are you okay?’

‘Oh yes,’ said the man, rubbing at his lenses with the end of his tie. ‘Just a little ... I’m really not looking forward to this funeral, if I’m honest.’

Tell me about it
, thought April. She herself wasn’t exactly keen to face Miss Holden’s relatives, not when she was so weighed down with guilt. But at least now she had a friendly face beside her. Peter Noble was a newspaper editor who’d been close to her father and – now she thought about it – one of the few nice people she had met at his funeral only a few months ago.
Has daddy only been dead six months?
It felt a lifetime since she had found him lying there in a pool of his own blood.

‘Do you know where the funeral is?’ she asked. ‘I’m a bit lost.’

Peter forced a smile. ‘Easily done here. This place is about five miles end to end – but it’s this way, I think.’

He led her down the left-hand fork, past the overgrown graves, an awkward silence accompanying them. How could you make small talk on the way to the funeral of a woman who had been tortured and killed by a half-crazed vampire?

BOOK: Sleeping Angel (Ravenwood Series)
11.23Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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