Thursday, November 6, 2008

Review: Fire in the Blood (Vampire Files #5)

A vampire’s got to do what a vampire’s got to do.

Even the dead have to work for a living. This time, a priceless heirloom bracelet’s been stolen from the wealthy Sebastian Pierce. And guess who’s been hired to find it? I’ll give you a hint: Me."

Fire in the Blood, the fifth novel in the Vampire Files series, begins with Jack Fleming, vampire detective, typing a fictional prose on his typewriter in the basement. Charles Escott, Chicago’s finest British-born private agent, consistently calls for his attention. Fleming has resided with Escott ever since his death on the Lake Michigan beach (read first novel, Bloodlist) because the basement provides a cozier environment than his temporary hotel room. They have a new case: wealthy Chicago socialite, Sebastian Pierce, has had a diamond bracelet stolen, which belonged to his daughter, Marian. He wants them to find it immediately without stirring any trouble.

The possible suspects are Kitty Donovan, Stan McAlister, Marian Pierce and her boyfriend, Harry Summers. Kitty has a decent trust fund left by her parents to indulge in her own interests. Stan is a gambler who despises getting a real job. Harry is a man of common background who loves Marian very much; he just has a terrible temper. Nonetheless, Jack had other things on his mind: meeting his girlfriend, Bobbi, at the hip club, Top Hat. When he arrives, unfortunately, he meets Pierce’s daughter, Marian, who intentionally flirts with him. He offers to buy her a drink since he needs critical case information.

Meanwhile, Harry Summers, rushes and snatches Jack from his seat and what a brawl it turned out. Jack, Marian and Harry had to leave the clubhouse quickly, but Jack shares valuable information with Charles. They traveled to Stan McAlister’s hotel room to search for clues only to discover his girlfriend, Kitty. Unfortunately, everyone walks into Kitty’s kitchen in horror: Stan lies on the floor stabbed to death. Kitty only stays briefly as she escapes before Jack could even track her down. Lieutenant Blair and his police troops surround him as she disappears into the night. Jack stays by the hotel and notices one of Stan’s friends, Doreen Gray, a pornography photographer with her bags ready to leave after the police raided the place. Jack then pays a visit to bookie, Leadfoot Sam, to whom McAlister owed a significant debt. Sam has prepared a few surprises for Jack's arrival.

Since Jack is a vampire with supernatural strength, he makes certain to leave a lasting impression on Leadfoot Sam when he leaves the place. He returns back to Doreen Grey’s place, to find her alone in the dark with a pistol in her hands. While Jack calms her down, he has an insatiable hunger about her he cannot resist. He gently caresses her neck and drinks a little from her vein, but releases his hold so that he doesn’t drain her completely.

Fleming takes Doreen to a midnight bar to find answers on Stan. With no luck, he takes her back home only to find Leadfoot Sam wanting his revenge. We know how Jack reacts. Once again, the poor man is left behind traumatized and horrified. Later, some goons spot Jack and request that he come with them. There, he meets crimelord, Vaughn Kyler, who took over and expanded Frank Paco’s (he was a major character in the novel, Bloodlist) establishment. They ask for Doreen, but Jack left her behind. Unfortunately, there was a news bulletin that that the body of Doreen Grey was found with bullets in her body. Jack and Charles rush to the hospital where they confirmed her identity. Who wanted Doreen Gray and Stan McAlister dead?

It’s time for Jack Fleming and Charles Escott to finish this case once and for all. Too many deaths are happening on the streets of Chicago. In addition, Jack wants his revenge for what he had to endure that fateful night. Being a vampire is not easy. After all, he has a “night job [he] can really sink [his] teeth into.”

Note: You may also buy this book in the Vampire Files, Volume 2 edition.

Stay tuned for my next review on the sixth book of the Vampire Series, Blood on the Water.

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