St. Martin’s, Dec 28 2010, $7.99
NSA chief David Cassius the vampire assigns otherworldly FBI Agent Jace Valchek to continue her hunt of Free Human Group terrorist Aristotle Stoker, but to do so she must cut a deal with insane Asher the shaman. She was pulled into this alternate realm because she believes Cassius needed a serial killer profiler, which in his world none exist. The paranormal on this plane are the normal; for every human there are almost 100 paranormal. Cassius promises to return Jace to her world if she succeeds with capturing Stoker though he conceals his hidden agenda re her.
Still off kilter with her new environs, Jace travels to Vegas without her golem partner Charlie Aleph as he is tied up with a dispute over golem rights in a dispute with vampires and weres. She ponders how to profile what in her realm is fiction and thinks what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas, but hopefully not to her. Her teammate on this dangerous mission is shapeshifter Azura the Astonisher mage stripper; an expert on the magic of deception.
The third Bloodhound Files (see Dying Bites and Death Blows) is an action-packed alternately worldly urban fantasy starring a spunky displaced FBI agent whose run-ins with a variety of supernatural newcomers embellish the Barant universe. The story line is fast-paced and fun to read, but in terms of the overarching theme, the plot feels more like a set up for future discord. Still sub-genre fans will enjoy Jace’s latest adventures, but like the heroine will wonder where the ruby slippers are that will bring her home.