Thursday, July 15, 2010

Review: Song in the Dark (Vampire Files #11)

Going through a difficult recovery from a near-fatal clash with a sadistic gangster, Jack's unwillingly drawn into solving a brutal murder at the Nightcrawler Club. But that's nothing compared to the death sentence hanging over him. There's no escaping gangland "justice," especially when it comes from Whitey Kroun--a mob kingpin who can scare even a vampire!

Song in the Dark, the eleventh book in the Vampire Files series, has Jack Fleming, vampire club owner of Lady Crymsyn, taking care of his injured friend's (Gordy Weems) nightclub, The Nightcrawler. Before he can recuperate his life, he must deal with several mob business, which involves his life and other new characters, who often annoy his mood. The New York mobs want to know how he survived a horrifying punishment that would have killed any normal human being. They also want to know how he killed the man (Hog Bristow) who tortured him. The people back in New York don't like what happened to Bristow, but Jack manages to leave without any threats or executions. However, his life becomes more complicated.

Some bodyguards ("muscle") don't like the fact he controls Gordy's business. Although Jack Fleming is 37 years old, he looks much younger because he is immortal. He has several people on his watch: Alan Caine, a New York stage singer who has a habit for upsetting the wrong people; Mitchell, muscle who used to work for Morelli, the same mob boss who tried to kill Jack (Bloodlist) nearly a year ago; and the whereabouts on child kidnapper, Hirley Gilbert Dugan, remain unknown (see Cold Streets) despite the ongoing reward for his capture. This supporting cast helps him live his life as normal and safe as possible: Bobbi Symthe, stage entertainer and Jack's girlfriend; Charles Escott, British private agent and best friend; Shoe Coldfield, black ganglord of Chicago's Bronze Belt; and Myrna, the resident club ghost of Lady Crymsyn.

Although Jack Fleming survived the severe torture, his body has not completely healed from that event. The physical scars are still visible on his body. He has sporadic seizures and headaches where vanishing does little to ease the pain. His thirst for blood is uncontrollable, including his increasing desire for human blood. He doesn't need individuals, such as Mitchell, to reappear from the past and bring back haunting memories. Meanwhile, a couple are found dead and someone is on the trail to kill more. Will Jack be able to solve this murder mystery before all of Chicago tries to hunt him down? Will he also be able to overcome his panic attacks?

I finally finished this book. Who would have ever thought a vampire could have such mental breakdowns and ruthless enemies? The ending is spectacular! I don't want to spoil it for anyone, but if Elrod decides to write another book in this series, that character just has to be in it!!! Spoiler alert: Who would have thought that Jack Fleming would meet another vampire?

I really enjoyed this novel because I gained a better understanding of how mobs run their businesses. I also learned the hierarchical structure and what happens to members who disobey authority. Readers will also get to see a more vulnerable Jack Fleming, who contemplates suicide as a possibility to end the panic attacks and hellish nightmares. Plus, the entire cast is involved with some new people from the first book, Bloodlist. It just makes me want to read it all over again.

Overall, I highly recommend this book to Elrod fans and those who have never picked up a Vampire Files novel. This series contains a lot of action, comedy, mystery and suspense. Plus, it takes place in 1930s Chicago! If you have not visited Chicago, please visit! You will also learn American pop-culture history on the side. If you're looking for a paranormal mystery series with nightlife and mobs, this is definitely the book for you.

Stay tuned for the twelfth novel in the Vampire Files series, Dark Road Rising.

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