SHADOWS by Jonathan Nasaw


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 Nasaw, who invented the San Francisco's Vampires Anonymous group for The World on Blood (1996), brings Jamey Whistler, his most presentable and epicurean vampire, back from that novel, this time plunging him into greater peril. The reformed Jamey, who has retired to the Caribbean and no longer kills for blood (preferring to drain bags purloined from a blood bank), has been targeted for murder by Aldo Striescu. Aldo, raised in one of Ceauescu's infamous Romanian orphanages, once mistook a picture of Maria Callas for his mother and is now fixated on Callas recordings. In the orphanage, he discovered both that he had a rare talent for homicide and that he could achieve orgasm by suffocating his fellow orphans or by starting fires. Later, he labored happily for the Third Branch of Romania's Secret Police. But since Ceauescu's fall, Aldo has gone freelance, working out of London. Now he's hired by Jamey's fabulously wealthy father, himself a vampire, to kill Jamey. This all has to do with a rather complicated will the old lecher's made out. Jamey's continued existence, it quickly becomes clear, depends on help from Selene, high priestess in a witches' coven in California's Mill Valley. Twenty years earlier, Selene and Jamey were, briefly, lovers, and now Selene has a precognitive dream foreseeing his danger. She flies down to Santa Luz to save him, only to discover that Jamey's Caribbean home has been torched by Aldo. Meanwhile, Selene, who has been losing her faith in witchery, falls in with a true herbalist crone on the island and learns much from her, including the use of a rare poison to fight Aldo. Eventually, Aldo kidnaps Jamey's daughter Martha and, thinking his son dead, is tricked by Selene into believing he can get control of the Whistler fortune. Not as original as The World on Blood, but swift-moving, with fitfully interesting characters.

Pub Date: Oct. 13th, 1997
ISBN: 0-525-94065-0
Page count: 384pp
Publisher: Dutton
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1st, 1997


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