Review: Murder in Vein by Sue Ann Jaffarian

22 Feb

Murder in Vein by Sue Ann Jaffarian
Midnight Ink (September 2010)
Trade: $14.95
ISBN: 978-0-7387-2311-2

Favorite Lines: “Madison had been in Los Angeles just over two years when she found herself facedown on the ground in a wooded area. Her clothes were in tatters. Duct tape held her hands. A filthy rag muffled her screams.” (p. 1)

Vampires. Vam-pires. Real live—er, dead (undead?)—bloodsucking vampires, living in the City of Angels. Madison Rose, a street-smart twenty-something waitress would never have believed it—until a vampire thwarts a vicious attack against her by appearing in the nick of time and finishing off her assailant in one tasty bite.

Madison has been saved by the vampires—or has she? She learns that women have been going missing; their lifeless bodies turning up drained of blood. Now the murderer is after her. As the violence escalates, Madison, LAPD Detective Notchey, and a cadre of alluring and dangerous vampires search for the true killer—while Madison keeps a wary eye on the skittish and thirsty vampires. Will she survive to see the light of day?

Murder in Vein is book one in Sue Ann Jaffarian’s Fang-in-Cheek mystery series. In Jaffarian’s vampire world the California Vampire Council rules over the vampires in the area with the ancient vampire Samuel La Croix sitting as council head. All of the other vampires defer to him. Samuel is intriguing. He will do whatever it takes to protect those he cares for and he is vicious. But with Madison he is patient. I really like him. Definitely better than I like Madison.

It’s not like Madison is a horrible person. She is just so new to the paranormal world that she acts TSTL at times. Like when she goes off to investigate on her own, more than once. After something bad happens, she does it again! WTF!! But I do like that she’s a survivor. (Even though for a survivor she makes some really dumb choices.) The book really revolves around the mystery aspect of the story which is well written.

I felt like I jumped around the paranormal world with the heroine trying to figure out from which direction the danger would come. But one thing really bothered me: the derogatory use of the word “beater” to describe humans. It’s used often throughout the book and usually by humans. At first it was a piece of information, but before long it was being slung from every direction. (That’s how it felt anyway.) To be fair, some of my issues could be based on reading Sophie Littlefield’s Aftertime which used the word “beater” to describe the zombie characters. I don’t know…

Overall opinion of Murder in Vein? It was a quick, no-think type of enjoyable read. I want to see how Jaffarian plays out the romance she introduced and the short snippet at the back of the book sounds really good. Not knowing Jaffarian’s work, I gotta give it to her—she really knows how to grab her readers. From the first sentence of Murder in Vein and the snippet of the next book, Baited Blood which will be released in September 2011. I like books that cut straight to the story.

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