Storyline: Miss Julie Ann Dawson has really nailed it in her action-suspense-thriller A Game of Blood.
Detective Mitchell is having a rough time right now. After a miscarriage and a battle with breast cancer, his wife leaves to “find herself”. Then a series of missing girls leads Mitch to the rather eccentric and wealthy vampire (do they come any other way?), Darius Hawthorne.
Darius has grown bored in his old age and he decides that the good detective would make the perfect nemesis. As their game of bat (see what I did there?) and mouse escalates, it appears that there are even greater monsters than the charming Darius for Mitch to fight.
Will they ever be able to come to an agreement? Can Darius stop killing teenage girls in order to gain Mitch’s help? Will Mitch ever be able to stop trying to kill Darius (and clean up his foul mouth)?
Grammar/Spelling: I noted some minor grammatical and punctuation errors throughout. There were a few instances when certain words were left out – nothing that the average reader wouldn’t be able to figure out.
One other thing I noticed was with the usage of certain words: suppose versus supposed and use versus used. I recommend having a beta reader read the dialogue out loud to tighten up that issue. Nothing too noticeable and it certainly did not detract from the overall story.
Character Development: I loved these guys! Most authors will sort of let their secondary characters fall to the wayside because they spend so much time and effort developing their main characters. But, Miss Julie easily developed and portrayed her secondary character’s roles. Mitch’s partner and his family acted the way I would expect them to. Even the DA – who wants to be political, but realizes it can’t always be that way – is great.
Of course, I’m partial to the spirited, charming and downright delightful Darius Hawthorne. (But, maybe I’m biased because I’ve interviewed him before…) He really brings a new meaning to anti-hero. Despite his rather disturbing proclivity for murder, I would still categorize him as more mischievous than malevolent. (Don’t tell him I said that though – he might feel as if I’m somehow insulted him.)
Writing Style: Twists. Turns. Surprises. I’m rarely caught off guard by plot turns (the last time I remember being surprised was when I got Sixth Sensed [Yeah, I just made that into a verb. You’re welcome to use it whenever you blow someone’s mind.] by Bruce Willis and that kid – but that caught everyone off guard. Too bad he was a one-hit wonder…but I digress…) and there were more than a few twists that surprised even me!
The overall pacing is wonderful and moves along very well.
Continuity: No issues with continuity.
Overall Rating: 5+
Cha! Like I’d expect anything less from Miss Bards & Sages herself! From her amazing storyline to her memorable non-vampire characters to one of my favorite characters ever, Miss Julie has truly outdone herself with A Game of Blood.
I highly recommend this book to everyone, except those who are in love with sparkly vampires – this story lacks any of those nice “vegetarian” vampires – and younger children (language, adult situations, etc.) because not only is a great story, it’s an awesome twist on two of my favorite genres: horror and vampires.