My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Time taken to read - 4 days
Publisher - Piatkus
Pages - 373
Blurb from Goodreads
All the official reports say they are dead-extinct since the late '80s, when a fed named Arkeley nailed the last vampire in a fight that nearly killed him. But the evidence proves otherwise.
When a state trooper named Caxton calls the FBI looking for help in the middle of the night, it is Arkeley who gets the assignment-who else? He's been expecting such a call to come eventually. Sure, it has been years since any signs of an attack, but Arkeley knows what most people don't: there is one left. In an abandoned asylum she is rotting, plotting, and biding her time in a way that only the undead can.
Caxton is out of her league on this case and more than a little afraid, but the fed made it plain that there is only one way out. But the worst thing is the feeling that the vampires want more than just her blood. They want her for a reason, one she can't guess; a reason her sphinxlike partner knows but won't say; a reason she has to find out-or die trying.
Now there are only 13 bullets between Caxton and Arkeley and the vampires. There are only "13 bullets" between us, the living, and them, the damned.
Well, this was a vampire tale with a bit of a difference. The vampires are not like vamps as we know them, well not any I have watched or read about. They are most powerful when they feed, totally vulnerable when they sleep. They have hypnotic powers of control, ok this has been mostly popular throughout the years, they require you to self terminate to aid the turn. Just a few things that are new compared to the books I have read. Agent Arkeley has dealt with them before and only just made it out, this time he enlists the help of State Trooper Laura Caxton to defeat the new rising of vampires. By why her, why are the undead and half undead interested in her, why is Arkeley so invested in killing their one true master?
I liked and disliked this story probably in equal measures which is why I fenced it with a 3/5. It is always interesting to get a fresh spin on tales that have been around for years however some of it really annoyed me. If the vampires are so indestructible at certain times, why do they not overcome their subjects quicker? Why are not all made full vampires, why do the half deads flit between ferocious and cowardly? Why is there a need for self termination, I think for me, I needed more on the curse and the how and why of it.
There are quite a few themes in the book, the killings and blood lust are quite graphic in parts so not for the faint hearted. There are paintings with body fluid, lesbianism features strongly for one of the characters which, I understood for two scenes but otherwise there was no huge contribution to the tale, unless I missed subtle undertones?
There are more tales in this series and whilst I would read them, I won't be rushing out to buy them. I would love to know more about Arkeley right enough and Malvern so I would certainly read them if they came my way. I have read Wellington before, his zombie trilogy which I definitely prefer however I think this series does have potential.