Ace, Jan 2003, #22.95, 400pp
In wintry 1938 Chicago, four thugs kidnap sixteen year old Sarah Gladwell, a teen with the intelligence of a ten year old. As instructed, Sarah's mother Vivian avoids the police, but hires private investigator Charles Escott and his partner Jack Fleming, owner of the Lady Crymsyn nightclub who are considered off limits by the mob.
As a vampire, Jack has several handy qualities to include becoming invisible. He rides alongside Vivian though the woman does not know he is there. After the money drop, Jack rescues the girl and captures the four criminals. He hypnotizes them into confessing, but one of them, the ringleader Hurley Dugan, fails to react to his suggestion, claiming innocence, a circumstance that only drunks and the insane can accomplish. Worse, Hurley, hiding in Jack's vehicle, realizes that the sleuth is a vampire when he sees Jack drink the blood of a cow. Now Hurley is blackmailing Jack, who plans to have justice his style.
The latest entry in the Vampire Tales is a supernatural detective tale. As with the previous books in this series, the novel combines hard boiled sleuths, gangster with and without hearts, and a nightcrawler into a delightful story line that brings home the COLD STREETS of 1938 Chicago. The twist this time is the prime villain knows his enemy and plans to use it to advantage.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner