Morgan de Silva, poor little once-rich girl, has slunk away to the run-down old mansion belonging to a family friend to try to pull her life together. Her dream is to make it as a scriptwriter, and she even has a fast-track route to success if she can produce a script, except she’s no good at it. After six months, her screen is still blank... until she stumbles on a set of journals, written by a man called Dante, who lived 150 years ago and believed that he was a vampire. Reading the journals, Morgan finds herself transported into Dante’s mind, and his life plays out for her in her head... and also on her computer screen. Five years later, she’s written three vampire movies, all about Dante’s life and based on the journals of what she assumes was a long-dead fantasist.
Meanwhile, in White Plains, Maxine Stuart, a conspiracy theorist, stumbled on the secrets of DPI the night their headquarters was destroyed (this book is a sequel to Shayne’s earlier Born in Twilight). After a vampire strikes, killing a woman, Maxine makes the connection between a vampire called Dante whose details are on a CD-Rom she stole and the Dante of Morgan de Silva’s films. She and her close friend Lou, a police officer, realise that they need to speak to Morgan, and set off to find her, not realising that they’re already one step behind a rogue DPI agent, Frank Stiles.
Meanwhile, Dante is alive and well, and he’s after Morgan to find out how she found out his secrets and why she betrayed him. Instead, though, he finds himself drawn to her - she is, after all, one of the Chosen, and she’s dying...
Like other reviewers, I didn’t enjoy this book as much as others in Shayne’s series. Morgan was quite self-indulged and didn’t have the same sparkiness as Shayne’s other heroines - or even as Maxine, who I liked much better than Morgan. It feels to me as if Shayne liked Maxine more too. But it is Morgan, of course, to whom Dante is drawn.
The vampires in this book aren’t as appealing as Shayne’s previous characters - I really missed Eric et al. Dante is darker, more violent, hurting people in a way that Damien, Rhiannon, Roland, Jameson and the others would never have. And as for Sarafina, if we were supposed to feel any sympathy for her, it didn’t work. The most interesting characters in Twilight Hunger were Maxine and Lou (and Lou is 18 years older than Maxine, not 20 as another reviewer said). The disappointing part of this sub-plot is that their story was left unfinished.
Shayne also seems to have changed some of her vampire ‘mythology’ between earlier books and this; potential transformees’ state of health was never an issue previously, for instance with Shannon or Ramsay.
And finally, the very convenient relationship between Morgan and Maxine - which was spoiled for me by several reviews here, especially since it isn’t explained until close to the end of the book - was really too coincidental to believe. It wasn’t even necessary to the book and would have been better left out.
All in all, far from the best of Shayne’s series, and in some ways hardly feels like part of the series, but worth reading if you’re a fan of the series as a whole. Three stars for Maxine and Lou; really only two for Dante and Morgan.