cover image Midnight Marked

Midnight Marked

Chloe Neill. NAL, $15 trade paper (384p) ISBN 978-0-451-47233-5

Neill's strong 12th Chicagoland Vampires urban fantasy (after Dark Debt) deftly builds on the heroine's actions and emotional history while introducing new complications into her personal and political worlds. It's been a year since Caroline Evelyn Merit became a vampire, and she has come into her own as Sentinel of Cadogan House, a leader in the Chicago supernatural community, and a capable and likable protagonist. Merit is en route to a Cubs game with her significant other, master vampire Ethan Sullivan, and their friends when they make an alarming discovery: the body of a shape-shifter who's clearly been murdered by a vampire, near a construct of mysterious alchemy symbols. Merit engages in alliances of varying success among Cadogan House, the other vampire houses, and the local shape-shifter packs and magic-wielders, trying to figure out whodunit, as another conflict develops from the machinations of the local criminal mastermind and his supernatural empire, the Circle. Series fans will be delighted by developments in Ethan and Merit's romance and impressed by Neill's willingness to take some narrative risks. Agent: Lucienne Diver, Knight Agency. (Mar.)