Thursday, February 7, 2008

Review: Bloodcircle (Vampire Files #3)

...Her trail has led me to the palatial estate of a wealthy widow -- and a two-hundred-year-old gigolo with a taste for young blood. He claims not to know where my long-lost lady is -- or is trying to kill me -- but then again, you can never trust a vampire.

I should know...

Bloodcircle, the third novel in the Vampire Files series, is the sequel of Lifeblood. (I highly recommend that most readers read Lifeblood before they begin this book. If anyone reads this book out of context, they will be oblivious to the storyline and characters)

The story begins with Jack Fleming, journalist-turned-vampire detective, sitting in an interrogation room at a Chicago police precinct. He is the only witness to the murder of Braxton and the traumatized condition of Mattheus Webber at the radio station that evening. The police lieutenant questions Fleming with serious expertise about the scene of the crime. Agitated, Jack hypnotizes the police chief and later Webber what they should say to the press conference. The last thing he needs is to stand trial and reveal to the public he is a creature of the night.

Jack returns to his sweetheart, Bobbi Smythe, to update on events. He has an unfortunate harsh time with Marza Chevreaux, Bobbi’s accompanist from the previous book, but soothes his anger in her presence. He tells his girlfriend he must take a trip to New York with his private agent British partner, Charles Escott, to solve his own murder case. (This is where readers should remember or re-read the first book, Bloodlist.)

As Fleming and Escott discover one of Maureen's confidantes in Manhattan, the woman offers little help because she has not heard from Maureen either. While Jack is furious, Escott calms him down on the current situation. Escott discovers information on a woman named Emily Francher, and the two examine her mansion on Long Island. There, they meet another vampire -- Jonathan Barrett! He tells Jack and Charles his entire life story: how he and Maureen were running away from Gaylen, Maureen’s mad sister. Unfortunately, he has not heard from Maureen either.

While Escott and Fleming leave the mansion grounds with disappointment, Charles has an idea for Jack to sneak back inside and collect more clues. Jack is successful, although he had a few close calls, since Barrett shares the same night vision! Jack finds a few surprises in the mansion. He unexpectedly finds Barrett, who warns Fleming to leave the suburb of Glennbriar. After this incident, Jack decides to repay a visit to Emily Francher’s mansion -- with or without Barrett’s permission.

As Fleming travels back to the Francher’s home, he discovers a cab driver dead with a head injury. Someone tries to kill him with wood. Miraculously, Charles saves Jack in time. As he and Escott enter the mansion, Emily Francher is dead and Barrett lies lifeless with a wooden stake in his chest. Who is doing the killings? What will happen next? It looks like Fleming has another case worth his own bite…

This book concludes the first Vampire Files trilogy (Bloodlist, Lifeblood and Bloodcircle). We finally discover the truth about Maureen Dumont (If you REALLY want to know, you must read the books yourself!). I have to say that this was a really sad story. Very emotional and sympathetic at the end but Elrod writes magnificently. Not my favorite of the three but I now know the truth behind Maureen’s disappearance. This was an enjoyable and engaging novel.

Stay tuned to the next book in the Vampire Files, Art in the Blood.

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