- Author: Melissa de la Cruz
- Performed by MacLeod Andrews
- Published: Hachette Audio, released September 2014 on Audible
- Category: Urban Fantasy
Hero of this sexy, paranormal action tale is Oliver Hazard-Perry, former human conduit, and Manhattan’s only human-turned-vampire, now the head of the Blue Bloods Coven. When his all-too-human lover is found murdered on the eve of the coven’s annual Four Hundred Ball–a celebration meant to usher in a new era in vampire society, and to mark the re-unification of the Coven after decades of unrest and decay–Oliver is devastated.
Now, not only is he trying to create a new world order for the immortal elite, he’s the prime suspect and is stalked by the newly installed head of the vampire secret police. Because according to the new rules, vampires who take human life can now be executed. Burned.
How can an immortal sentenced to die fight back? He has to find the killer–and the answers lie deep in vampire lore.
I purchased this before realising it was a follow on from a previous series. The fact I hadn’t read the Blue Blood saga didn’t seem really significant after the first couple of chapters, when I assumed other stories had gone before, but the author added enough background information that I was able to catch up.
It’s ten years since the War ended and Lucifer and his Nephilim army have been eradicated and, apart from the odd renegade popping up now and again and a hive of Nephilim which was destroyed, all seemed quiet. Until, that is, the body of a young girl is found, apparently murdered by a vampire, and pentagrams begin to appear all over the city.
Araminta Scott belongs to an elite squad of the new Coven, named Venators, who have the ability, not only to read minds, but destroy them and manipulate dreams in order to search out unregistered immortals. They are the vampire law enforcers.
The alarm went off like an air-raid siren at midnight, and the hand that shot out of the bed slammed the snooze button so hard the side table shook. Half an hour later, Araminta Scott jumped out from underneath the blankets, kicking off the covers and cursing loudly. She’d dreamed she was late for work again and she was right – that wasn’t the snooze button she’d hit. She scrambled into her clothes, putting on a worn black sweater over her thin black tank top, grabbing a pair of black jeans from the pile on the floor, finger combed her platinum bangs, and smoothed the soft, shorn hair at the back of her neck as she met her dark, baleful eyes in the mirror.
Mimi and Kingsley Martin, who have a very volatile relationship, are back from the Underworld. Oliver Hazard-Perry is the head of the Blue Bloods, the Vampire Coven and about to be made the absolute ruler at the Four Hundred Ball his lover and human familiar, Finn, is organising. As the murders and pentagrams increase the whole community is on high alert.
As it seems someone or something is intent on the worst kind of mischief, Ara is partnered with Edon Marrok, the once legendary golden wolf, who was one of the heroes of the final battle. He has been helping the Venators search out Nephilim activity. It’s time for the two of them to investigate and uncover the killer before the ball. To add to their problems, there’s a new drug out on the streets causing untold damage and it seems the old saying ’the greatest trick the devil pulled was convincing the world he didn’t exist’ is truer than anyone believed.
The story is told from multiple points of view in a time when vampires, venators and wolves live alongside humans while keeping their existence secret and protecting the human population from immortals. I enjoyed the fact the central storyline is an investigation with a mystery/crime aspect and Ara and Edon are the ‘detectives.’ The killer is, or was to me, totally unexpected. The epilogue ending is left open in order to lead on to book #2.
I own up to the fact the draw for this audiobook was MacLeod Andrews narrating, and I wasn’t disappointed. He brings the characters, male and female, to life convincingly, with great pacing and authenticity.