Laurell K. Hamilton, . . Berkley, $26.95 (496pp) ISBN 978-0-425-22772-5
Hamilton's 17th Anita Blake novel draws the vampire hunter into a game of cat-and-mouse with a particularly monstrous vampire named Vittorio. Aided by sadistic serial killer Otto Jefferies, convenient sociopath Edward and fanged escorts handpicked by her lover Jean-Claude, U.S. marshal Anita offers her services to Las Vegas, now under siege from Vittorio's army of enthralled preternatural beings. Manipulated by the cunning Vittorio and occasionally misled by coincidental events, Anita employs her insight into Vittorio's condition and weaponized libido as the decisive weapons in this struggle. The book is largely concerned with the melodramatic conflict between hunter and hunter and Blake's soap-operatic love life, but Hamilton does manage some genuinely moving passages, particularly those describing the terror of innocent vampires caught up in the arbitrary and draconian U.S. legal system.
Reviewed on: 04/20/2009