Saturday, October 13, 2007

The Watcher-Jeanne C Stein

The Watcher
Jeanne C Stein
Ace, Dec 2007, $7.99, 304 pp.
ISBN: 9780441015467

Bounty hunter Anna Strong never knew vampires existed until she was bitten by one and was turned. Now she is taken under the wings of two different kinds of men. The San Diego Chief of Police is a century old vampire who formed the Watchers; vampires who police the supernatural community keeping humans safe from the ones that are evil. She gets her human drug supply in a small desert Mexican town when the local bar is run by Culebra. It is the meeting place for vampires who need to drink human blood and humans who want to donate it.

She sees her lover Max there but he looks frazzled because of the bounty on his head by a Mexican drug lord. When she returns to San Diego, a FBI agent tells her that Max, a DEA agent, has gone rogue. She believes the agent is lying; and assumes the agent has a personal and evil vendetta. She intends to find Max but when she returns to Beso dela Muerte she discovers the witch Ms. Burke and her coven are going to summon a demon in the one minute window of opportunity on Halloween. She has to stop her not only because the demon will kill all the good supernaturals and because she intends to sacrifice Culebra. While she is battling the forces of darkness the drug lord kidnaps Max and intends to abduct Anna in order to torture her in front of him.

Everyone has plans for Anna but she has her own ideas of what she wants to do with her life and she is strong enough and independent enough to choose her own destiny. No human, including Max, knows Anna is a vampire and she fears if Max finds out he will leave her. This action paranormal thriller is full of unexpected twists, red herrings and the occasional wild goose chase. Jeanne C. Stein writes an enthralling vampiric mystery that has a lot of suspense, a touch of magic and a bit of romance so that readers of multiple genres are satisfied.

Harriet Klausner

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