Genre: urban fantasy
Her job description is the 'tracking and apprehension of mentally-fractured killers.' What this really means in FBI profiler Jace Valchek's brave new world - one in which only one percent of the population is human - is that a woman's work is never done. And real is getting stranger every day.
Jace has been ripped from her reality by David Cassius, the vampire head of the NSA. He knows that she's the best there is in the business, and David needs her help in solving a series of gruesome murders of vampires and werewolves. David's world - one that also includes lycanthropes and golems - is one with little knowledge of mental illness. An insane serial killer is a threat the NSA has no experience with. But Jace does. Stranded in a reality where Bela Lugosi is a bigger box office draw than Bruce Willis and every full moon is Mardi Gras, Jace must now hunt down a fellow human before he brings the entire planet to the brink of madness. Or she may never see her own world again...
Jace Valchek is a profiler for the FBI, a loner, someone whose humor is never quite understood, or appropriate. Then one night, after a few too many drinks, her life is turned upside down, when she is snatched from her bedroom into another dimension. Her job skills are needed in this alternative reality. Earth’s history changed significantly in the 12th century, and now the world is populated by vampires (37%), werewolves (43%) and golems (19%). The werewolves are a bit diluted by dogs though. Yes, humans are down to less than 1% of the population, less than one million humans left on the planet.
Mental illness is a human disease, something virtually unknown on this earth. And as a human psychopath is killing vampires (pires) and lycanthropes (tropes) in some really gruesome and inventive ways, Jace’s help is needed in catching him. She will be working for the NSA, and her boss is a vampire. Of course she doesn’t believe all this at first sight, but when she shoots him a few times, and nothing really happens to him, but some shredded clothes, she will have to. She also faints, and when she wakes up, she is in some kind of hospital. As she is not from this world, she needs to drink a special potion to adjust herself to this new reality. The added benefit, or curse, is that she will become more empathic.
Jace is told more about this world by her doctor, who is a werewolf. And if she feels his emotions clearly, very attracted to her. He also introduces her to her new partner/bodyguard Charlie, who is a golem (lem). Or, politically correct, mineral-american. They are creatures of plastic in the form of a human being, filled with sand and/or small rocks, and enlivened by a spell. Originally this was Jewish magic, but now it is common all over the world, and they are used as drones, soldiers and law officers. Vampires drink animal blood, but in the end, they will need humans to survive as a species, to make new vampires out of.
Jace is not stupid, and she wants to know why she, a human, would help the supernatural community to catch one of her own. If not, she will never be able to return home. That takes powerful magic. What her bosses don’t tell her, the vampires and lycanthropes are not capable of doing magic like that, only the humans can do that.
And so Jace reluctantly agrees. She visits the murder scenes, except the first one, which is in the secret McMurdo Station in Antarctica. But the killer did post a video of the murder, and she can study that one. A vampire is killed by sled dogs, who have their teeth painted with silver, so he can’t heal, and are given something to make them vicious. The second murder is a lycanthrope in Australia, and the third murder is a female vampire in Asia. Jace has to find out the significance of the locations, and the methods of the murders. Which is not going to be easy, when her bosses and the local law enforcement people don’t want to tell her everything.
The stakes are getting higher when the murderer wants her to change sides, and work with him and his group, trying to free earth from the supernaturals and make it a home for the humans now. As it is, they are an endangered species, hunted by vampires for their blood.
The story is completely told by Jace, something that is not my favourite writingstyle to read. It is a bit dry, although she has an unique sense of humor, and she grew on me. I liked how she did not back down from anything or anyone, but I also could not relate to her. She asked so little questions, she accepted the strangest things and she did not really freak out or anything. She does a one night stand with one of her new acquaintances, who happens to be a werewolf. But that is only told after the fact, and without any details. She was drunk, too empathic, and did not remember much.
Jace did not really connect or bond with anybody, though almost all the werewolves she encounters are interested in her. She does take charge of the investigation, and she knows some martial arts, which comes in very handy fighting does many times stronger than she is.
I also did not connect with or fall for one of the male characters in the book, I never saw them as potential love interests. I did like the geeky scientist type with his dead rat skull who could use some kind of magic to talk to things.
Okay, now I am going to sound very chauvinistic: when I found out that D.D. Barant is a man, by the name of Don DeBrandt (thanks Twitter!) I figured out that is why I could not really connect to the story or the characters. Even though it was a bit suspenseful at times, I could not feel it. A man just has a different point of view, a look at life, than a woman, which is why I prefer female authors.
Still, the story is certainly intriguing and original, and I will read the rest of the series, though I am not in a hurry to finish all the books.
O if you are wondering, why this series is called the Bloodhound Files, that is because that is Jace’s nickname from the other NSA agents, as she is like a bloodhound and does not give up when she is on a case. She is not changed into one.
© 2012 Reviews by Aurian