Bloodstone, the thrilling third installment in the terrific Deadtown series, begins a month after the point at which its predecessor left off with shapeshifting demon-hunter Vicky Vaughn ridding a health club of a pesky demon causing gluttony and sloth amongst the customers and staff. Despite the unpleasantness of the task, Vicky feels as though taking her werewolf boyfriend, Kane, to her sister Gwen’s house for dinner may prove even more of a challenge.
Things go well at dinner until Kane mentions Mab, the sisters’ aunt, not realizing that Gwen and Mab have been estranged for over twenty years–even Vicky does not know why–and get complicated further when Gwen’s eleven-year old daughter, Maria, sneaks back downstairs to catch her Aunt Vicky in private to tell her she has been having unusual dreams. Gwen, who gave up her ability to shift when she decided to give birth, fears that Maria may be indeed showing signs of the abilities of the Cerddorion race, despite having a human father. Vicky attempts to allay Gwen’s fears but without much luck.
As if the evening had not been strained enough, on their way back to Boston, Kane receives a call that Vicky’s vampire roommate, Juliet, who has been missing, has turned herself in to Goon Squad (the police force consisting of both human and paranormal beings that monitors Deadtown) custody, asking for Kane, a lawyer. Due to both him and Juliet having been implicated in the death of a Supreme Court Justice, Kane calls another attorney to take Juliet’s case. Vicky decides to go visit Juliet in jail and ends up fending off an attack from a group of Old Ones, ancient vampires who in their efforts to take Juliet end up injuring her. Vicky manages to get Juliet out of the jail in spite of her injury and subsequent illness, but her attempts to track down the Old Ones leads to both the discovery of connections with a serial killer case and a demi-demon.
As before, Holzner seamlessly weaves a thread of humor throughout a narrative often fraught with danger, which aids in not only providing readers with a breather from the attendant chaos but also adds breadth to the characters. This reviewer’s favorite amusing scene involves Kane watching television news at Vicky’s apartment–a section that readers will have to read for themselves in order to completely understand the wit. The author also demonstrates her knowledge of and love for medieval literature and lore in addition to Welsh mythology, enhancing and enriching the story of Vicky and her family.
The contemporary Boston setting with its added paranormal aspects adds to the immense appeal and vivid realism of this terrific series, as readers may indeed be looking for some supernatural beings to stroll past them on walks across Boston Common. The suspense never flags, resulting in rapid page-turning, and the author skillfully weaves together the multiple story threads into a satisfying whole. This reviewer highly recommends the fantastic Deadtown series and its intriguing denizens to all urban fantasy readers and will be first in line for book four.
- Paperback: 336 pages
- Publisher: Ace (September 27, 2011)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 044102100X
- ISBN-13: 978-0441021000