Gagged, beat up, and trapped in a forest. That's how readers meet the street savvy waitress Madison Rose, and it's as terrifying a start as it is interesting. When she thinks her biggest fear is the psycho that put her in that position, a dark figure with fangs emerges from the forest and rips her captor apart.
"We'll have to kill her," is the first thing he says and the last thing she hears that night.
When Madison comes to, she finds herself in a beautiful room. An elderly woman vaguely fills her in about what's going on. After Madison fixes herself up and eats, she goes to the kitchen and sees the elderly woman and the dark figure -- who is also elderly in appearance and no longer a dark figure -- drinking thick, red liquid.
Meet Dodie and Douglas: The first vampires introduced and definitely not the last.
However, Dodie and Doug are the least of Madison's concerns, though bloodsuckers certainly are. On the one side, there's wannabe vampires; on the other side, there's real vampires. Smack down in the middle, operating as the link, are cases of missing women. Had Doug not rescued Madison, she'd be another statistic.
Now it's up to Madison. Can she help the real vampires stop the fakes?
I finished "Murder in Vein" in about six hours, and that was during a busy day full of school work and studying. It had the right mix of comedy, seriousness, and adventure. Romance lingers in the background, but it never threatens to take over. Sue Ann Jaffarian adds a little more to the vampire's way of living and makes them neither too dark or too innocent. There's a respectable in-between.
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Reviewed for Suspense Magazine by Tiffany T. Cole.