Top positive review
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If you like supernatural detectives, you'll love this series
on 6 May 2004
This is the FIFTH book in Tanya Huff's 'Victory Nelson, Investigator: Otherwordly Crimes a Speciality' series. The first four (in order) are: Blood Price, Blood Trail, Blood Lines and Blood Pact. I would strongly recommend reading them in order.
Ms Huff knows how to write unpretentious prose with a good sense of style, pace and humour. She makes the very occasional 'in' joke - but if you don't get them, you must be VERY new to the field.
Our heroine, Vicki Nelson, is the usual fictional private investigator - in that she is tenacious, aggressive and something of a maverick. A decorated police officer invalided out of the force due to deteriorating eye sight (the devastating condition retinitis pigmentosa), which has already rendered her night-blind, the book opens with her witnessing a gruesome murder. This turns out to be the first in a series which has the local (Toronto) press screaming that there is a vampire on the loose.
Like the best stories, Vicki isn't the only interesting recurring character. There is her ex-partner (in both senses), Mike, still a serving police officer. And then there is Henry Fitzroy, illegitimate son of Henry VIII (a nicely researched touch) and, of course, vampire.
All three of them are trying to solve the murders and we are swept along by brisk plotting and interesting characterisation.
I dislike the 'if you like this, then you'll like that' sort of recommendation, but we all use it because it is SO useful! If you like Laurell K Hamilton's stuff - or even if you find her books overly, shall we say, sexually obsessive? then you'll love these. If you are a relative newcomer to the genre, but like detective stories, you'll like these too.
Over the five books in the series I have read so far, she has developed the characters well, and without giving anything away, I would REALLY recommend not reading this one without reading the first 4, as this fifth one contains an, er, 'considerable character development'! It was the first one of the series I read and oh, do I wish I'd read them in order! Another recommendation - don't read the backs of the books if you can help it....I DO wish they wouldn't give away so much of the plots!