A young woman learns she’s a descendant of a notorious female serial killer and must stay one step ahead of an organization hellbent on killing her.
Emily Porter wakes up in a Maine cabin with only vague recollections of undergoing a memory-erasing procedure. All she knows is that she wants to live a normal, quiet life, but those hopes are dashed upon meeting the intriguingly foreign Luka Novak at the local Food Mart. Just as quickly, she’s whisked away by another Eastern European, Rolan Vasilescu, who tells her that Luka isn’t what he seems—the theme of shifting loyalties is underscored ad nauseam throughout—only to be pursued by Luka. Turns out that Rolan is the bad guy, and handsome Luka’s mission is protection—or is it? And Emily Porter? She’s really Audra Ellison, revered by a secret sect who, like her, are all descended from the murderous Hungarian “Blood Countess” Elizabeth Bathory, thought to have murdered 600 people during her 17th-century reign of terror. These Progeny, as they’re known, are hunted by the Scion, descendants of Bathory’s victims, and led by the Historian. Audra learns not only that she has special, persuasive powers—think vampires and glamouring—but also that she voluntarily wiped her own memory to keep certain information a secret. Soon she and Luka are crisscrossing Europe from Croatia to Vienna in an attempt to find a diary that could hold the key to her survival or the Progeny’s extinction. Lee (The Legend of Sheba, 2014, etc.) dispenses with plausibility early on, yet even in a fantasy world, Audra would still grate as a pseudo-heroine constantly in need of protection.
For all their gory antecedents, Lee's characters—and her plot—are strangely bloodless and noncompelling.