Title: Blood Secrets
A few sex scenes some which include strong violence and sexual assault. References to rape and prostitution.
Okay – A few good points, but with significant flaws. Library/swap/borrow if you want.
WHEN ALEXANDRA SABIAN SINKS HER TEETH INTO AN INVESTIGATION, SHE DOESN’T LET GO.
Alex allowed a case involving murdered vamps to get personal and is suspended from the Federal Bureau of Preternatural Investigation. Now she’s facing an official inquiry but has a chance to redeem herself. The catch: She must once again work with Varik Baudelaire, her former mentor and ex-fiancé, as he spearheads a search for a missing college student. But Varik has been keeping secrets from Alex, and his mysterious past is on a collision course with his present.
When Alex and Varik discover a carefully handcrafted doll at a crime scene, neither of them can see how close the danger really is or that a killer known as the Dollmaker has made Alex the object of his horrific desire. Now the only way out of the Dollmaker’s lair is through the twilight realm of the Shadowlands, where all secrets—for better or worse—will be revealed.
BLOOD SECRETS picks up just weeks after the ending of BLOOD LAW and finds vampire and suspended FBPI Agent Alexandra Sabian trying to figure out a future with the vampire she loved and almost lost her life to when she gets pulled back in to help stop a serial killer with a fondess for redheads who look just like Alex.
The police procedural aspects in both BLOOD SECRETS and BLOOD LAW before it are top notch. The vampire mythology is solid too with several fun details the make their integration into human society all the more believable like a product called Vlad’s Tears which is sold in grocery stores across the country. This blood substitute can tide a vampire over until they can get to a human blood donor. But there were several issues that kept me from enjoying this book as much as the first one.
There are some redundancies in the descriptions, and the multiple POV shifts and storylines (Tasha’s & Emily’s were both on the tedious side) tended to pull me away too often from Alex. I’m also not really on board with the Hall of Records spiritual realm that Alex and a few others can slip into. It felt like it didn’t belong in this otherwise very gritty world. My biggest issue, however, was with the plot which is basically Kiss the Girls with vampires. It was very unsettling to read the chapters written from the perspective of the killer and another villain in the sex trade. To experience their thoughts and emotions as they brutalized girls in different ways was really more than I could stomach.
Overall, BLOOD SECRETS is not as good as the previous book, but if you can handle the depravity of the villains, there is some interesting worldbuilding here. Fans of Tanya Huff may want to check out these urban fantasy police procedurals that blend paranormal mythology with hard boiled detective work. Fans will be glad to know that Jeannie Holmes is currently writing next book in the Alexandra Sabian series tentatively scheduled for 2012