Blood Trade, the splendid sixth full-length installment in the fabulous Jane Yellowrock series, begins a few months after the events at the end of the previous book. Jane comes to the realization that she may well be depressed, given that by having accused Rick of trying to kill her, she may have put an unmovable wedge between them forever. Or it could be because Bruiser, someone she considered a friend, held her down while Leo fed from her (though he was controlled by another at the time). Jane and her best friend, Molly, have not spoken in months, after Jane had to kill Molly’s out-of-control sister. But the situation that torments Jane the most: Beast is now somehow bound to Leo, though the big cat oddly does not seem particularly bothered by this fact.
While out riding Bitsa, her motorcycle, and pondering the sad state of her life, Jane receives a call from Reach, the computer expert/hacker she often hires, telling her that Hieronymus, vampire Master of the City of Natchez, Mississippi, wants to hire her for a job. Especially intrigued by the prospect of getting out of New Orleans and away from Leo for a bit, Jane wants to hear more, and learns that humans are disappearing in Natchez, likely to Naturaleza vampires, those who practice the draining and therefore killing of humans — an illegal practice punishable by death, Jane-style.
Deciding that this new job may be just what she needs, Jane tells her new partners, Eli and the Kid, that they will be leaving town for a bit. Relieved to see Jane engaged in life again, the two guys happily agree. However, Jane soon learns that someone from her past wishes to meet with her in Natchez, which confuses her. The really big surprise: the vamps Jane and Company go up against prove really difficult to kill.
Once again, Hunter provides an intense visit into Jane’s world and soul, sucking the reader in so thoroughly that they feel as though they are right there in the action and the pain. In each book of this extraordinary series, we learn more about the intriguing characters who populate Jane’s world, including our heroine. Jane realizes she now has a new family — one comprised of Eli and the Kid — and finds that this pleases her, despite having always thought of herself as a loner. This new relationship helps to ease the ache of her current estrangement from Molly and her children, though does not eradicate it. Jane begins to understand that her strength does not come only from her physical power, but from the relationships she builds with those around her, which also serve to bolster her mental and spiritual acuity. Beast, a character in her own right, continues to captivate with her insight and attitude.
Blood Trade provides every element that readers hope for in urban fantasy, and serves them all up in a perfect mix sure to please fans of the series, as well as those new to this fascinating world.