cover image Blood Call

Blood Call

Lilith Saintcrow. Orbit, $18.99 trade paper (320p) ISBN 978-0-316-34360-2

This sporadically frantic, overlong contemporary paranormal thriller from Saintcrow (Trailer Park Fae) is uncharacteristically marred by a slow start, an overwrought feel, and a rekindled romance that never progresses beyond unsatisfyingly awkward. Anna Caldwell is distraught when her investigative reporter brother, Eric, is murdered, and unknown assailants come after her. She calls on her ex-boyfriend Josiah Wolfe, whom she dumped three years earlier when she discovered that he was a hit man, to help her exact revenge. But Josiah wants to protect Anna while reviving their old relationship, and together they end up digging into the strange goings-on that Eric was researching while evading those who want the secrets to stay secret. Big politico antagonists are incompletely characterized and too unrealistically naive for the level of fat-cat vanity, corruption, and scientific acumen the plot requires. But exploding baddies make for exciting action scenes, and Anna and Josiah’s pale, mangled, cautious vampire ally is delightfully creepy. Agent: Miriam Kriss, Irene Goodman Literary Agency. (Aug.)