A spate of grisly stakings sends shock waves though L.A.’s vampire community.
Madison Rose (Murder in Vein, 2010, etc.) is slowly adjusting to her new life working for Samuel La Croix and the California Vampire Council. Living Box-and-Cox–style with Doug and Dodie Deadham, Madison is free to attend classes at the local community college, go jogging or laze around the pool while her vampire hosts spend the daylight hours sacked out. But one morning her solitude is shattered by the sight of a body in the pool, pierced by a sharp stake. The young vampire, who turns out to be merely wounded, tells a tale when he recovers of a nearby castle filled with vampires and their human consorts leading libertine lives under the eye of a mysterious vampire known only as “Lady.” As more staked vampires turn up, the Council moves quickly to find their source, since any notice by the police or press would reveal their secret lives to the public. Madison has her own ideas. Through a Southern California realtor, she locates a secluded property that just might be Lady’s castle. She also turns to fellow “beater” Mike Notchey, an L.A. cop who’s helped Samuel and the Council before. But Notchey’s attitude to the vamp world has become complicated since his friendship with Madison. As she struggles to walk the fine line between the living and the undead, Madison learns to balance her human feelings for those who nurture and protect her with caution around those whose nature places them beyond the reach of human law.
Although killing the undead is no joke, this second entry in Jaffarian’s latest series offers both humor and heart.