Money

Smaller companies have been a lucrative, albeit higher-risk, area to invest over the long term. The Numis Smaller Companies Index has, since 1955, achieved an annual return of 15.8 per cent compared with 12 per cent for the broader UK stock market.

The Gate of Air, By James Buchan

This may be billed as a contemporary ghost story, but there are times when Buchan's narrative suggests the stylistic flourishes of an earlier era. Having been ousted from his job, software engineer Jim Smith decamps to a remote stately pile in the West Country.

Forgotten Authors No. 38: Bram Stoker

Of course he wrote that book, but Abraham Stoker (1847-1912) wrote 15 others besides. Nearly all of his output appears to have vanished, eclipsed by the novel with which he will forever be associated. Admittedly, no one now will want to thumb through his 1879 non-fiction book The Duties of Clerks of Petty Sessions in Ireland, but there are other works that share common themes with Dracula. Given the immense success of the novel that influences a vast body of vampire fiction, from the drippy Twilight to the brilliant Let the Right One In, you'd think anything that enlightens us further would be readily available.

DVD review: Let the Right One In (15), Tomas Alfredson, 110 mins

Vampires are back in vogue thanks to Twilight and True Blood, but the undead have never been more chilling and plausible than in this Swedish sleeper hit, based on the novel by John Ajvide Lindqvist.

Tourist attraction hunts for scariest zombie

An unusual job is returning from the dead amid the doom and gloom of recession - but it involves playing a zombie.

On my mind: Rhiannon Harries sinks her teeth into the disturbing sexuality of the modern vampire

Trust vampires to whip up a bit of mass hysteria. They were at it in the 1700s, sending Europe into a frenzy of alleged sightings and grizzly exhumations. This time around, the sightings – on TV, in films, on the cover of a 3-for-2 paperback – are real enough, but we know vampires are not. Yet somehow the craze has taken on global proportions and been heralded with glee by the media.

Credo: Guillermo del Toro

Film-maker/writer, 45

Album: Gwyneth Herbert, All the Ghosts, (Naim Edge)

Another step away from the showbiz ledge, towards which an early signing to a jazz major once edged her.

Bell's try sinks brave Crusaders

Celtic Crusaders 18 Catalans Dragons 30

Games Review: Burn Zombie Burn!

PSN, Doublesix, £6.29

Lesbian Vampire Killers (15)

Oh dear. Loath as I am to kick a comedy duo when they're down, there's no plausible defence for this slapdash feature film by Mathew Horne and James Corden, any more than there is for their much-panned TV sketch show.

The Independent Film Forum: Week 7 - Lesbian Vampire Killers

Their sketch show has been roundly trashed but will James Corden and Mathew Horne score a hit with their big screen efforts? The next film up for discussion in The Independent Film Forum is Lesbian Vampire Killers. A cult classic in the mould of Shaun of the Dead or a lifeless misogynistic vehicle for the two stars? Add your comments below and we'll print the best in the newspaper next week

Games Review: Left 4 Dead

PC, Xbox 360, £34.99 - £49.99

V is for Vampire

The latest incarnation of the monster is a teen heart-throb. Cole Moreton reports

Huddersfield 20 Catalans 22: Marauding Mogg gatecrashes Giants party

The Catalans Dragons made sure of a home draw in this first round of the Super League play-offs, showing all the resilience that has characterised their away form this season. The French side spent most of the evening hanging on to the Giants' coat tails, but once they finally took the lead in the 70th minute through Thomas Bosc's third goal, they knew how to hold on to it.

Story Of The Song: Werewolves of London, Warren Zevon (1978)

Warren Zevon was the renegade West Coaster. While his mid-Seventies Los Angeles peers were taking it easy and running on empty, Zevon's albums swilled with troubling tales of mercenaries, psychopaths and bent lawyers.

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Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: ‘We give them hope. They come to us when no one else can help’

Christmas Appeal

Meet the charity giving homeless veterans hope – and who they turn to when no one else can help
Should doctors and patients learn to plan humane, happier endings rather than trying to prolong life?

Is it always right to try to prolong life?

Most of us would prefer to die in our own beds, with our families beside us. But, as a GP, Margaret McCartney sees too many end their days in a medicalised battle
Thomas Cook's outgoing boss Harriet Green got by on four hours sleep a night - is that what it takes for women to get to the top?

What does it take for women to get to the top?

Thomas Cook's outgoing boss Harriet Green got by on four hours sleep a night and told women they had to do more if they wanted to get on
Christmas jumper craze: Inside the UK factory behind this year's multicultural must-have

Knitting pretty: British Christmas Jumpers

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French chefs have launched a campaign to end violence in kitchens - should British restaurants follow suit?

French chefs campaign against bullying

A group of top chefs signed a manifesto against violence in kitchens following the sacking of a chef at a Paris restaurant for scalding his kitchen assistant with a white-hot spoon
Radio 4 to broadcast 10-hour War and Peace on New Year's Day as Controller warns of cuts

Just what you need on a New Year hangover...

Radio 4 to broadcast 10-hour adaptation of War and Peace on first day of 2015
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Cuba to stage first US musical in 50 years

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Learn and play: 10 best educational toys

Of course you want them to have fun, but even better if they can learn at the same time
Paul Scholes column: I like Brendan Rodgers as a manager but Liverpool seem to be going backwards not forwards this season

Paul Scholes column

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Lewis Moody: Lancaster has made all the right calls – now England must deliver

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Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

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Sol Campbell cries foul at Labour's mansion tax

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Nicolas Sarkozy returns: The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?

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