Thursday, August 02, 2007

Blood Drive - Jeanne C. Stein

Blood Drive
An Anna Strong, Vampire Novel
Jeanne C. Stein


Two months ago, Anna Strong became a vampire. Not through choice, so it’s been an unhappy adjustment. But she’s been able to keep her life relatively unchanged. Fortunately, that old myth about sunlight being dangerous is only a myth. Her parents don’t know, of course, but Anna’s running out of ways to explain why she’s not eating when she visits them. On one of these visits, there’s a surprise visitor. Carolyn Delaney was the girlfriend of Anna’s brother, Steve. Steve died at the age of eighteen due to the stupidity of a drunk driver. Since Steve’s death, fourteen years ago, no one in the family has seen Carolyn; she didn’t even attend Steve’s funeral.

Now, in their living room, Carolyn says she wants to hire Anna to find her daughter, Trish. Anna suggest that the police are better equipped than a bounty hunter to search for a runaway, and that’s when Carolyn drops the bomb. She says that Trish is Steve’s child. Anger battles with concern as Anna and her parents process this possibility. Carolyn wants Anna to find Trish and then broker some kind of deal with the police. She believes that Trish was involved in a murder. Her partner in crime, according to Carolyn, was Daniel Frey, a teacher at the school where Anna’s mother is principal.

If Trish is blood, then Anna wants to find her and help her. And even if she’s not, the allegations of a teacher having sex with students, and providing drugs to those students, is impossible to ignore. The chief of police suggests to Anna that there may be a supernatural element to the case. He’d know, since he’s also a vampire. Meeting Frey is a shock. And, very quickly, Anna realizes that her vampiric nature is going to be very useful in this case.

This novel is the sequel to THE BECOMING. Not having read the first book, I found it quite easy to pick up the threads from the information provided here. The author writes about the real world, but populates it with vampires and other supernatural beings who must keep their true natures secret from the mortals around them. In some ways, being a vampire is a great benefit to Anna, but she’s keenly aware of the downside, too, such as the fact that she will outlive everyone she loves. Anna is a very likeable character; intelligent and competent, even without her vampire advantages. The writing is fast-paced and smooth, and unraveling the truth about Trish and the murder will keep readers turning pages. I’m looking forward to the next installment, due out this winter.

Rating: 7 ½
July 2007
ISBN# 978-0-441-01509-2 (paperback)


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