Drummond’s (Something Wiccan, 2015, etc.) latest supernatural thriller finds its recurring teen hunter and his pals confronting vampires who’ve taken control of a Scottish town and its residents.
Now that his son Toby’s back in Silver Falls, Oregon, Sheriff Walter Hoffman’s reluctant to let the teenager return to Germany to train with the European Huntsman’s Network. But when baddies show up to retrieve powers Toby’s “inherited” from a dead warlock, Walter agrees that his son may be safer overseas. Toby’s girlfriend, Rachel, tags along, wanting to know how his decision on whether or not to be a hunter will affect their future together. Already in Germany is friend Natalie, a witch with newfound and inexplicably potent abilities who’s spent the last couple of months training. Hunter Jack Steele, meanwhile, has lost contact with colleague Angelina, in an area where other hunters have disappeared. She’d been tracking Gavin, a bloodsucking crony to vampire Alister McKean, who killed Jack’s parents years ago. Jack and Toby follow Angelina’s trail to Loubcroy, where vampires have made an agreement with humans: if vampires can be fellow citizens, they won’t harm humans. Rachel and Natalie join the two hunters later, and soon they’re facing off against a batch of sinister fanged foes. The hunters can only hope the frightened townsfolk will stand their ground to take back Loubcroy. Despite head trainer Henry Graves recommending that the girls “forget everything” they’ve read or seen about vampires, the author’s third series entry relies primarily on genre conventions. Readers know that sunlight hurts, wooden stakes kill, and vampirism equals virus. Drummond, however, fills his narrative with scorching, relentless action, the bulk of it set in vampire-infested Loubcroy. There’s a plethora of undead villains, and Toby’s increasingly chic capabilities allow him, among other things, to stake vampires telekinetically. The girls unfortunately stand on the sidelines for most of the story: Rachel does little as a mystic, while Natalie can barely control her powers. But everyone’s engaged in battle by the final act, with a gripping dilemma to close the book: Toby does something drastic that makes him not much better than the fiends he’s been staking.
Routine monsters, but the story’s no less invigorating and the hero’s always entertaining.