Monday, November 2, 2015

Blood Price

Tanya Huff
Completed 10/8/2015, Reviewed 10/9/2015
3 stars

Vampires and detectives.  Always a good mix for pretty standard supernatural murder mysteries.  “Blood Price” is exactly that.  Vicki Nelson, formerly a highly decorated Toronto detective, is now a private investigator.  Late one night in the subway, she sees a flash of black and a body with all its blood drained.  Was it a vampire?  Do they really exist?  Well, turns out they do, but this murder, which was just the first of a series of brutal, blood draining attacks, was not caused by a vampire.  Henry Fitzroy the handsome vampire told her.  He is also trying to get to the bottom of the murders because he’s knows this is not how vampires operate in modern society.  He’s afraid he and his kind will be found out and wrongly accused of these murders and that there’s something more diabolical afoot.  Together, Vicki and Henry try to discover the source of these demonic crimes before an even greater evil is unleashed upon the world.

The book is pretty standard mystery stuff.  There’s nothing special about the book.  This is the kind of book a good friend of mine would call “fluff”.  However, it was written back in 1991.  What feels commonplace now could have been a little more original twenty five years ago.  Today, however, Vicki the PI, Henry the vampire, even the Norman the instigator of these demonic crimes, who we find out about early in the book (not a spoiler), are pretty cookie-cutter.  Henry is a little more interesting than the rest.  We get to find out who he was when he was alive, and how he became a vampire.  It adds a little dimension to him.

The best parts of the books are the murders, but I think it’s mostly because they’re, well, murders.  I don’t read many murder mysteries, so I find these scenes quite exciting and scary.  They’re not gruesomely described, perhaps the way Clive Barker would detail, but the suspense is quite fun.  The end of the book is quite exciting as well.  It’s fast paced and even though you know it has to end well because there’s four more books in the series, it’s fun to see how it actually resolves.

I chose this book for one of my LGBT in genre lit challenges.  The author is lesbian, and the series is recommended for its positive portrayal of LGBT characters.  This book however only has fleeting references, so if you’re looking for a stronger presence, you probably need to read further into the series.  But don’t let that discourage you.  The book is unremarkable, standard bestseller material, but it is fun.  For that, I give this book three stars out of five.

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