Bantam, Mar 2009, $6.99
The supernaturals, especially the vampires and shapeshifters, have made themselves known to humans; and though they are not quite equal under human law, they have the Protectorate to police their kind especially if humans are in danger. Guardian Riley Jenson’s latest case involves finding a zombie killing people. She tracks the culprit to an abandoned overhang where it and two hellhounds are intently staring at a crow that is actually a shapeshifting sorceress.
While there she also meets werewolf bounty hunter Kye whose assignment is to kill the necromancer sorceress as a favor to a friend. During a fight, the crow escapes while the zombie and hellhounds are killed. Soon afterward several powerful ancient vampires are murdered with heads and feet severed; their safes are open and their contents missing. The girls they were with were killed by a zombie. Riley believes there is a link between the vampire executions and the dead girls and the sorceress. Rye stays at her side as they try to track down the crow; each step together enhances their attraction for one another. These unwanted feelings horrify both of them and distracts them enough for them to fall into a deadly trap.
Riley is a powerful hunter, but has met her equal in the as obstinate and ornery Kye. Her wolf might want him, but her heart belongs to the ancient vampire Quinn. The whodunit is cleverly developed to keep the audience guessing as to the crow’s prime identity and why zombies are killing vampires. Fans of this great urban romantic fantasy will appreciate the current tale and look forward to the next installment in Keri Arthur’s superb saga.