A serial killer is on the loose in Seattle—and all her victims are vampires.
Debut novelist Elofson produced an intriguing genre-crosser: part police procedural, part paranormal romance. Tim Anderson and his partner, Kenny Johnson, are stereotypical city cops—complete with a failed marriage and adored daughter (Tim) and an aging uncle and alcoholic past (Kenny)—saddled with an unlikable boss, an intrusive television journalist and an unwanted FBI “colleague” with his own agenda regarding vampires. The victims turning up in Tim and Kenny’s bailiwick have a number of peculiarities, not least of which is that their fingerprints, DNA and any other identifying markers turn up nothing. One verifiable detail: Many of them have survived unimaginable injuries caused by ancient weaponry—from 19th-century bullets to Iron Age swords. Slowly, Tim and Kenny must accept the fact that their perp, a fragile beauty caught on video at a crime scene, is a vampire killing other vampires. Elofson uses multiple points of view in his narration—too many, in fact, and the frequent shifts can be jarring. Through the memories of the vampire Fabiana we learn of her turning by Cognatus, the Origin of Blood, the primeval vamp, in mid–first century Hispania. Fabiana has always been an ambivalent vampire whose only bond to the blood-collector genus is her true love, Cerci, Cognatus’ right-hand man. Elofson turns much conventional vampire mythology on its head: Vampires can be exposed to the sun, after several centuries they don’t need to feed on human blood, and, as is Fabiana’s plan, if you kill the Origin of Blood (the father of all the world’s vampires) all vampires will return to their mortal state. The police procedural aspect is pedestrian and the writing can be clunky (the detectives walk down a “salacious hallway”; Tim and Fabiana exchange “intrepid, youthful glances”), but Fabiana’s story is gripping. While vampires suffering from buyer’s remorse are not unknown in the genre, Fabiana is original in devising a workable plan to address her regrets.
Fans of rough-hewn vampire romance will find much to enjoy here.