Frightful Friday is a weekly meme in which I feature a particularly scary or chilling book that I’ve read that week. This week’s featured title is Mayhem by Sarah Pinborough:
Hardcover: 400 pages
Publisher: Jo Fletcher Books (January 14, 2014)
Source: Publisher (egalley)
The detectives of Scotland Yard are already immersed in the hunt for Jack the Ripper when another serial killer, dubbed the Torso Killer due to his practice of leaving behind a headless body, makes his presence known. The police surgeon, Dr. Thomas Bond, is so overwhelmed with horrific images of the dead that he turns to opium for some relief.
It is in an opium den that Bond meets a Jesuit priest, searching for someone…or something. The priest gives Bond a chilling and unbelievable explanation for the deaths and the identity of the Torso Killer. Something supernatural and horrific is at force. At first, Bond is quick to dismiss him but as the bodies begin to pile up, he begins to wonder of the priest is correct in his claims. The more he investigates, the more Bond believes that he knows the identity of the Torso Killer, an individual quite close to his circle of friends.
Based on an actual series of killings that took place during the reign of the Jack the Ripper killings (but obviously didn’t receive nearly as much coverage!), Mayhem is a brilliantly executed blend of crime procedural and supernatural fiction. I’ve been intrigued about the Jack the Ripper killings for as long as I can remember so it’s no surprise that this book grabbed my attention. There are quite a few portions of the book in which the reader must suspend disbelief, but this is to be expected in a novel of this sort.
Mayhem is certainly not a book for the weak of heart (or stomach), but fans of Victorian crime fiction and the supernatural are certain to be enamored by Pinborough’s truly skilled writing. She so expertly captures the essence of Victorian London, making it quite easy for readers to slip right into the rich atmospheric setting.
I’ve been a fan of Pinborough’s writing for some time, particularly her Dog-faced Gods Trilogy, largely due to her ability to combine two of my favorite genres: crime fiction and supernatural/horror. Her writing introduced me to a whole host of talented UK horror writers and for this I am forever thankful. If you have not checked out her books I highly encourage you to do so! Highly, highly recommended!
Melanie Middleton is struggling to get on with her life after refusing Jack’s proposal. Pregnant and determined to raise the child on her own, Melanie is determined to complete the necessary renovations to her home before the baby arrives. She’s completely unprepared for the pregnancy and motherhood, not to mention the loss of her ability to sense spirits who have not passed on.
Sleeping is already a challenge given her current stress level, but one night she’s awakened to the sound of an infant crying. Certain that this has something to do with her pregnancy and is nothing she should be concerned with, Melanie goes back to sleep. Unfortunately, she should have taken notice. While a renovation crew was working to repair the foundation to her home, they uncover the body of an infant, buried in an old christening gown. Melanie is determined to uncover the mystery of the baby’s death, uncovering a history riddled with lies and deceit, not to mention an angry spirit determined to keep these secrets buried. What she reveals not only leads to the infant’s identity, but also potentially her claims to ownership of the very house she is trying to renovate.
This novel serves as a very bittersweet ending to a series I have truly grown to enjoy. I’ve become quite attached to Melanie and Jack and am quite invested in their future (together or not). The author has continued, in this novel, to create a series in which readers are drawn to, not only because of the ties to the supernatural and the rich history of Charleston, but because of the incredibly genuine characters she has developed and nurtured over time. I absolutely adored the Southern settings and customs. What’s a story set in the South without a bit of spiritual history?
If you haven’t had the chance to embrace this series, I do highly recommend that you do so. I do recommend that you start at the beginning of the series and follow it through in order. While the author does provide a small bit of back-story, it is my opinion that you are missing out on a lot of you skip out on the earlier books in the series. I’ve broken the series down below (including my reviews, if applicable). Bottom line: this novel, and this series as a whole, is a rich and beautiful collection of Southern fiction. Highly, highly recommended.
Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks (December 31, 2013)
When Lacey and Eric, a young expectant couple, began their home-shopping journey, Lacey knew exactly what she wanted in a house. Growing up with unstable living arrangements and a flighty mother, she wanted more for her unborn child. When she saw “the house,” she knew it had to be theirs. Their realtor tried to warn her that deaths had occurred in that home, but Lacey would hear nothing of it. The house had to be theirs.
Soon after, a dark presence envelopes the house. The “spirit” of a young boy, Drew, makes his presence known. He’s tied to the house, unable to leave. His temperament is uncontrollable and soon his very existence, along with the dark presence in the home, begin to affect Lacey and her baby physically. As she begins to investigate the history of the house and its inhabitants, she uncovers the first of many dark secrets: No baby has survived in that home in over 40 years. Determined to save the life of her unborn child, Lacey will stop at nothing to bring to light the secrets that have been haunting this home for all these years.
I’m all about a spooky story and, in a large part, Starter House succeeded at sending chills down my spine. The dark presence, the horrific family secrets long ago buried, all added up to a wonderfully creep experience. The images of the spirit of young Drew and his emotional outbursts was truly terrifying. I don’t know about you, but creepy ghosty kids truly terrify me.
That said, there were aspects of the story that irritated me. Lacey, before the move, was a teacher. Fine, that’s great. I like teachers. Yet the author repeatedly brought up the fact that she was a teacher, that she would have what it would take to tame this emotional and unruly young ghost. One or two times, I’m okay. Repeatedly? It makes me feel like the author things I’m an idiot or have a short term memory.
Additionally, there were connections between characters that I think were a bit far-fetching. I’m not going to specifically mention which characters as I don’t want to influence the perceptions or experience of other readers but when you come across it, you’ll understand what I’m referring to.
That said, despite these few issues I did honestly enjoy this novel. Starter House succeeded at spooking me! An impressive debut, I’m looking forward to reading more from this author.
Thank you to TLC Book Tours for providing me the opportunity to participate in this tour. Please be sure to check out the official tour page for additional stops in the tour!
*Please Note: This is the third book in a trilogy. If you have not read the previous two books, The Taker and The Reckoning *gasp* please do not proceed in reading this review.*
Lanore McIlvrae has struggled to rid herself from the grasp of Adair. Yet when she begins having nightmares of Jonathan, her deceased former lover, is being tortured in the dark depths of the underworld. Reluctantly, Lanore admits that Adair is her only salvation. It is he alone that can devise a means for her to go to the hereafter and beg for Jonathan’s release.
She finds Adair on a secluded island off the coast of Italy. The reunion is bittersweet; the passion they shared for one another is still quite alive. Lanore finds two female tourists, Terry and Robin, living with Adair. Although he admits to spending his nights (and days) in bed with them, he hasn’t formally made them his companions. The jealousy is double-sided, for the two women are less than thrilled to see Adair’s reaction to Lanore’s arrival.
When Lanore finally gets around to asking Adair for help, his quick response shocks her. When the journey to the hereafter begins, neither Lanore nor Adair or quite prepared for the battles they are both forced to endure, both physically and emotionally. It is quite possible that Lanore will, too, become one of the captives of the Queen of the Underworld, never returning to Adair as she promised.
In this thrilling conclusion to the Taker trilogy, readers will notice a marked difference in overall tone as compared to the previous two books. The Descent itself is a journey, not only Lanore’s to the Underworld but a journey to the past, to Adair’s youth and the start of his obsession with alchemy. Readers glimpse a wholly different side of Adair than previously witnessed, a side that shows his vulnerability and genuine love for Lanore.
The imagery in The Descent, too, is spectacular. Her descriptions of the secluded island in which Adair resides are so genuine and real that you’ll feel the harsh wind across your face, feel the desolation that the island exudes. Lanore’s journey through the Underworld, her encounters with those from her past, are absolutely mesmerizing.
Fans of this blog know that I’m not fan of romance. That said, the love that Lanore and Adair share, a love that transcends time, space, and other worlds, is one that I couldn’t help but appreciate. Never did I fathom that I would find myself rooting for this unlikely couple!
In conclusion, I do believe that The Descent is the perfect conclusion to a truly stunning trilogy. Highly, highly recommended!
Side note: I will be interviewing Alma at One More Page Books in Arlington, VA at the release party for The Descent (Tuesday, January 14th at 7pm). Have any questions you would like asked? Add them to the comments below and I will do my best to include them in the interview. Want to order a personalized copy of the book? Click here!
Disclosure: I consider myself a friend of the author, Alma Katsu. I am mentioned in the acknowledgements and have offered the author words of encouragement and support throughout her publication journey. That said, this relationship did not at all influence my review of this book.
Publisher: Avon; English Language edition (August 30, 2005)
Ophelia Jensen is a small-town librarian who refuses to acknowledge her psychic powers. She moved to this small town after an incident from her past left her with severe post-traumatic stress syndrome. Her grandmother, Abby, sees know reason to deny or hide her peers. While Abby doesn’t come right out and admit to being a witch, she’s comfortable in her powers and appreciates what they offer. Despite all her attempts to separate herself from her super-sensory abilities, dreams keep making their way into Ophelia’s subconscious, forcing her to focus to track down the identity of a young woman who frequents her dreams.
When a dead body is found in the woods behind her home, Ophelia can’t help but get involved in the investigation. Closely following her is Rick Davis, a stranger who has come to town to reportedly investigate a series of chemical thefts in town. Something dark and dangerous is amiss and, despite all her attempts to rebuke her powers, Ophelia gets sucked in. With the help of Abby, the two must use their combined energies to bring justice to the small town.
As you may have noticed, I’m drawn to cozy mysteries with a tinge of supernatural. Going in, I was expecting a light, simple read. Surprisingly, Witch Way To Murder had much more depth to it than I could have ever expected. The backstory the author reveals about Ophelia’s past was just enough to provide explanation as to some of her behavior without detailing too much. If readers are anything like me, I’m desperate to know more about Ophelia’s youth and the incident that forced her to abandon her powers.
Additionally, since I was born in the Appalachian myself, I truly appreciated that the author chose to focus on the natural, old-school form of magic and witchcraft native to this part of the country. I’m really looking forward to learning more about the abilities that Ophelia and Abby share!
This series was recommended to me after I solicited cozy mystery series to feature this week. I’m genuinely interested in catching up with all the subsequent titles (6 in total). If you are looking for a truly engaging supernatural cozy mystery, this is the series for you. Highly recommended.
In 1966, Harold and Lucille Hargrave’s son died at his eighth birthday party. Now in their seventies, their lives have resumed without him, filled with loss and regret. Then the dead begin to return, not as zombie-like version of their previous selves but exactly as they were when their lives were brought to an end. Harold and Lucille discussed what would happen if Jacob returned, both convinced that it was impossible for them to accept him as their son if he did return. And then it happened: a knock at the door changing their lives forever. A government man standing alongside their son, just as he was when he died.
Despite what she stated previously, Lucille welcomed him back with open arms. Harold was more reserved, unsure how to treat this little boy who, on the surface, looked just like his little boy whose body he recovered from the river. Harold isn’t the only one unsure of how to deal with “the Returned.” An entire government agency, the International Bureau of the Returned, was charged with dealing with this unusual phenomenon, including reuniting the Returned with their loved ones and asking the fateful question: “Do you want to keep them?” So many people were returning that the Bureau soon faced funding issues, spending it faster than they could accumulate it.
The social reaction to the Returned made the decision for them: concentration like camp facilities were created to house these individuals. One such camp is created in the Hargrave’s small town of Arcadia, causing an influx of Returned. The town shifts from a quite respite to a military-like front filled with armed soldiers. In addition to dealing with the rapid influx of residents it is difficult to ignore the questions left dangling: how and why did these individuals return? Has the world come to an end? Why are only some individuals returning, but not all?
The setting, our nation’s “Bible Belt” adds an interesting spin to this novel. A region that so passionately embraces and celebrates religion is forced to deal with a situation like no other. Their reaction seemed to be quite polarized: either they embraced the Returned, welcoming them back into their lives or shunned them like some sort of beast sent by the Devil. Their religion is tested at a time in which they are at their most vulnerable. The worst aspects of human nature come to the surface as the world as a whole is forced to come to terms with this miraculous event.
This debut novel was one of many books I mentioned during the Fall Preview event hosted by my favorite independent bookstore, One More Page Books & More. I mentioned it not only because it is a stunning debut, but of the reaction it evokes from readers. You’ll be left questioning your own response if you were in the Hargrave’s shoes. Would you be able to accept your loved one back?
My only issue with this novel is that we never learned how or why these individuals have returned. It is my fear that so many people will tear through the pages, hoping to receive some glorious revelation as to the cause of the return and in doing so miss out on some pretty outstanding writing. Mott himself explains that the inspiration from this book came from a dream he had a few years ago in which his mother, who passed away in the summer of 2001, returned from the dead and was waiting for him when he returned home from work. They had the opportunity to catch up on all things that she missed in the time she’d been gone. Upon waking from his dream Mott was left wondering what his reaction would be if that really happened. Understanding that the impetus for this novel came from somewhere so close to the author’s heart moved me, wanting me to contemplate these very questions myself.
So, while the cause of the return is never revealed, I think this was an intentional move on the part of the author. He doesn’t want readers to get caught up in the mechanics of what happened, instead focusing on the characters and their reactions, questioning our own responses should we ever find ourselves in this situation. So, I implore readers not to get so wrapped up in the how and why it happened but focus on the characters and their response to this life-altering experience. Highly, highly recommended.
It’s no surprise to me that ABC has picked up the pilot of a television series based on The Returned, renamed Resurrection for its television review. Check out the trailer:
The book trailer is pretty outstanding as well:
Thank you to TLC Book Tours for providing me the opportunity to participate in this tour. Please be sure to check out the other stops along the way!
Also, if you are a fan of audiobooks, I do encourage you to check out these free prequels to The Returned.
Frightful Friday is a weekly meme in which I feature a particularly scary or chilling book that I’ve read that week.
This week’s featured title is The Big Reap by Chris F. Holm:
Mass Market Paperback: 384 pages
Publisher: Angry Robot (July 30, 2013)
*Note: This is the third book in a series. The review below may contain spoilers if you have not yet read the previous books*
Sam is a collector of lost souls, requiring him to collect the souls of the damned in order to ensure their delivery to the proper destination. He’s rid the world of some pretty horrific creatures and his most recent job presents him with an even more difficult challenge: hunting down the Brethren, a group of eight former collectors responsible for evoking vast devastation on mankind. As he embarks on this journey, the storyline flashes back to Sam’s first collection: Hitler. This was a risky and interesting path but boy, did it pan out.
I was worried the flashbacks would interrupt the flow of the current storyline but found it actually enhanced it. Readers got a glimpse of Sam as a “young” and naive collector and followed him as he learned the skills required to be a successful collector (i.e. possessing the bodies of other humans). Then, when the storyline shifts to present time, readers see just how far Sam has come in his life as a collector. The plot in each of the settings are equally captivating and intense so the reader isn’t really losing anything in the time shifts.
The Big Reap, the first two book in this series, is jam packed with intense action but what really makes this novel stand out is Holm’s truly brilliant writing. Whether it be a steamy description of Sam’s handler, Lilith, or a battle scene with a horrific monster, Holm truly has a way with words. His incredibly descriptive writing allows readers to feel as though they a part of the story, the scenes and setting taking shape before one’s eyes. The scene that had my glasses fogging is the following, in which Sam sees Lillith for the very first time:
She was, it shames to me to say so soon after selling my soul to save the love of my life, the most stunning woman I’d ever seen. And apparently, I wasn’t the only one to find her so - even the radio in the other room had fallen silent upon her arrival. Her eyes glinted emerald and onyx, somehow suggesting throaty laughs and whispered secrets and traded glances from across a crowded room that led wordlessly to clothes discarded and limbs tangled in passion. Her cheeks and shoulders were dusted with freckles, and the sultry scent of sun-warmed skin clung to her, as if she’d wandered through a summer orchard on her way to these bleak environs. Her hair tumbled lustrous red across her shoulders in undulating waves and curls, the last of which on either side curved to frame her perfect breasts, which seemed to ever-so-slightly strain the mere molecules of silk that attempted to contain them. And her lips, painted the color of fresh blood, were so sensuous – so transfixing – I couldn’t help but wonder what foolhardy acts men had perpetrated with the hopes of kissing them, of tasting her breath, of simply seeing them smile.
Hot, right!? Yet Holm’s talented writing goes beyond writing sultry descriptions into truly complex and intense scenes throughout the novel. I imagine him writing many of these scenes, wondering if he realized the moment he wrote them just how brilliant they are?
Additionally, another unique aspect of this series is how Holms so easily and so naturally weaves in a bit of philosophical/social commentary. It isn’t forced or out of place, but flows naturally within the storyline. A key message The Big Reap is the concept of forgiveness. While it isn’t pervasive, it clearly plays a role in Sam’s existence.
Sam, as a character, is vastly complex and tremendously well-developed. This novel in particular provides readers with a far deeper and intimate glimpse into his character. Sure, he’s a big, tough, brute of a man but, despite losing his soul, Sam hasn’t lost track of his human morals and beliefs.
By far, the best thing about this series is the fact that is crosses so many genres, nearly impossible to classify it into just one. While the supernatural aspect is present, Holm’s own history is in writing horror so there are elements of that genre that are present. Honestly, I don’t think there is a reader out there who wouldn’t appreciate the sheer brilliance contained within this series. Highly, highly recommended.
Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks; Original edition (June 19, 2012)
After living a decade in New Zealand, twenty-eight year old Suki Piper returns to her native London. She struggles to reconnect with the London she knew ten years ago. It isn’t until she track down Peggy, a family friend still living in the building Suki grew up in, that she feels she has some sense of home. She quickly becomes part of Peggy’s dysfunctional family, serving as a grounding force for Peggy’s sixteen year old grandson.
The longer she remains in London the more memories come rushing back. Specifically, memories of the night of a party and what happened in an abandoned air-raid shelter. For reasons unknown to Suki, this shelter keeps reappearing in her dreams and memories. Who is the girl down below and how does she play a role in Suki’s life?
Told through a series of flashbacks and memories, The Girl Below is a story of one young woman’s quest for understanding about her childhood. Her father abandoned her family when she was young and, years later, her mother passed away, so Suki has never really felt like she has a sense of family and home. Always feeling displaced, she struggles to come to terms with the individual she has become and the instances in her past that have influenced this. Rather than dealing with these feelings, Suki often turned to drugs and a series of relationships, attempting to drown out the memories rather than dealing with them as she should. The turning point in Suki’s search is the point when she learns the truth of what happened one night, dispelling assumptions she’s held to be true all this time.
What makes this a truly compelling novel is the alternating time periods. The reader walks side-by-side with Suki as she takes this path of self-discovery, uncovering details of her past. While there are vague elements of the paranormal, I didn’t find this to be a particularly chilling read. That said, my scare meter is set pretty high so it does take a great deal to send chills down my spine.
Additionally, Suki is a completely fleshed-out and interesting character. While she’s close to thirty in age, her maturity level is that of a teen, in my mind. This can be largely attributed to the issues she experienced in her home as a youth, perhaps preventing her from maturing psychologically as she should have.
Ultimately, The Girl Below is a novel that steps out of the boundaries of “typical” contemporary fiction, adding elements of mystery and the paranormal to entice and gain the interest of readers. Zander is a fresh new voice in fiction! I look forward to reading more of her work! Highly recommended.
Thank you to TLC Book Tours fro providing me the opportunity to review this title. Please be sure to check out the other stops in this tour.
Publisher: Random House Audio; Unabridged edition (February 14, 2012)
Listening Length: 17 hours and 19 minutes
Source: Personal copy
Reuben Golding is a young reporter on assignment with the San Francisco Observer, sent to Mendocino County to write about magnificent coastal mansion of Felix Nideck, a wealthy traveler who went missing years ago. Currently residing in the home is Nideck’s niece Merchent. The family has decided to put Nideck’s home on the market and hopes Reuben’s article will spark an interest in the property. While there Reuben falls for Merchent, contemplating buying the property himself with his inheritance. His plans are changed when two men break into the mansion. Reuben is spared when a creature appears from the shadows of the mansion and obliterate the would-be burglars. Merchent, however, does not survive the attack.
Reuben awakes in the hospital, riddled with wounds. He’s heartbroken at the news of Merchent’s death and startled to learn that, in the hours preceding the break-in, Merchent signed over the house to him. The authorities are instantly suspicious; why would she do such a thing after knowing him for only a few hours? Not surprisingly, Reuben becomes one of the top suspects, especially after the 911 calls are examined. A deep, gravely voice is heard, “Murder…murder…” are the only words uttered. Reuben doesn’t remember much of the attack, only the large beast that seemingly saved his live. He shares this information with the police who instantly discount them, assuming he’s experiencing shock after the attack. The press catches wind of his claims, and soon stories about a “Man Wolf” appear in the headlines.
Reuben’s recovery is quick. Surprisingly quick, actually. With his recovery comes an evolution, of sorts. His body is stronger and larger, his hair is fuller. Additionally, his sense of hearing has increased dramatically. He can hear voices of patients on other floors, voices of those begging for their lives to end.
Always the baby of the family, affectionately referred to as Baby Boy, Little Boy, and Sunshine Boy by his family and girlfriend, Reuben’s family is shocked at his transformation, both physical and emotional. They are reluctant to allow him to accept the “gift” given to him by Merchent but Reuben doesn’t really give them a choice in the matter.
After his release, Reuben begins to notice a change in himself. His body reacts to the terrified cries of innocent victims. His body transforms into a man-beast, going on almost nightly “missions” in response to these cries for help. He retreats to the Mendocino mansion, desperate to hide from the police now on the hunt for this “Man Wolf.” It doesn’t seem to matter to them that the man wolf only harms those that are attempting to harm others; they simply won’t put up with its vigilante behavior.
Reuben, conflicted with his new ability, calls upon his brother, a priest, for help. This begins a heavy exploration of good vs. evil. Can a man of God condone this sort of behavior? Can one of God’s children be forgiven for this act? That’s not to say this aspect of the storyline is pervasive, but definitely a key element to the storyline.
Running parallel to this exploration of good vs. evil is Reuben’s acceptance of what he now refers to as a gift, the wolf gift. It is here that Rice puts a completely new spin on the werewolf myth. In her mind, this gift was passed on through heredity, only small numbers of those outside the family granted this power. Unlike other werewolf stories, these creatures don’t only come out at a full moon, but can control when they shift. Additionally, they are unable to bring harm to the innocent, only those that have the scent of evil about them.
The Wolf Gift is Anne Rice at her finest, reminiscent of the distinctive style found in her Mayfair Witch and Vampire Chronicles series. Rice doesn’t simply regurgitate old legends but recreates her own, complete with an explanation as to the genesis of the legend. Additionally, the protagonist she creates in Reuben is a sympathetic one. While he has the form of a monster, he retains the soul of a human being. He’s conflicted with his new gift and must come to understand it, appreciate it, in order to thrive in his new state.
A note on the audio production:
The Wolf Gift is narrated by Ron McLarty, known for his narration of David Baldacci’s King & Maxwell series, among others. McLarty was successful in his ability to vacillate between the voice of the Man Wolf and of Reuben himself, keeping the sensitive human side of this character while not downplaying the magnitude of the wolf’s character. He has a gravely-tone to his voice, perfectly skilled at making this transition from human to monster.
Long-time fans of Rice’s work will recognize the familiar themes of love, self-discovery, and transformation. All in all, The Wolf Gift is a refreshing reunion with the classic Anne Rice many of us have grown to know and love. Those looking for an elaborately developed, truly unique and educated spin on the werewolf legend will be handsomely rewarded after reading this novel. I particularly recommend the audio production due to the pure page count of this novel. The narrator takes this book to a completely new level, one that I do not think would be attained by simply reading the print version. Highly, highly recommended.
In the third Nathanial Cade, President’s Vampire book (after The President’s Vampire and Blood Oath), the country is in the midst of a Presidential race. A political operative and campaign volunteer are found slaughtered, in a compromising position. At the crime scene, written in blood, is a message: “It’s Good to be Back!” This message is from a centuries old creature, only known as the Boogeyman. The only creature Cade as been unable to stop.
A bit of history on Cade for those unfamiliar with the series: since the days of President Lincoln, Nathanial Cade has been sworn by a blood oath to protect the sitting President and anyone acting on his behalf. He is the creature the American public no nothing about, fighting a supernatural battle kept hidden from the country. He resides in a lair built under the White House, using the infamous hidden passages beneath the nation’s Capitol during the daylight hours.
The Boogeyman is essentially the being that serial killers worship as their god. Several killers that have been captured reference him specifically as the inspiration of their actions. The killings they perform invite the Boogeyman into our world, his actions spinning dozens of urban legends.
The murders continue, all involving individuals caught in a sexual act. Cade and his human sidekick, Zach, must find a way to stop the Boogeyman before he reaches his next intended victim, the President himself, all the while trying to keep the press from connecting the murders. Using human bodies as hosts, he is unstoppable. In his presence, cars malfunction, doors unlock. He is unstoppable.
Preventing them from succeeding is a former member of a covert group with a mission to bring down the U.S. government using supernatural means, the Shadow Company. They are set on doing what they can to allow the Boogeyman to follow through on his mission to kill the President, the first step in bringing the country to its knees.
As with the previous books in the series, Red, White, and Blood is rich with memorable one-liners. Farnsworth succeeds at painting a completely plausible, albeit supernatural, scenario. Unlike the others, this novel has a bit more political side to it, the Presidential campaign playing a key role in the storyline. Other reviews indicate that this takes away from the main storyline but in my opinion it doesn’t detract, but instead adds to the story, allowing Farnsworth to adequately pace the action and intensity throughout the novel.
While this is the third novel in a series, Farnsworth excels at providing just enough back story to bring a reader up to speed. That said, I do recommend starting from the beginning if you can, I guarantee you will not be disappointed. Red, White, and Blood is an exhilarating and intense novel, the ending is completely stunning and had me begging for more. A long-time fan of Cade (he truly makes vampires sexy), I highly recommend this novel.