Monday, September 15, 2008

Insatiable Desire - Rita Herron


Insatiable Desire
The Demonborn
Rita Herron
Grand Central/Forever

Paranormal Romance

When Vincent Valtrez was a child, his father turned evil. Vincent endured beatings, torture, and watched his father kill his mother, an Angel of Light. Then young Vincent killed his father. He was found outside a place called the Black Forest. Local lore and history says that no one who enters this place gets out alive. Since then, his memory of that time a blur, Vincent has done everything he could to work on the side of good. It’s why he joined the FBI. Now he’s been assigned to return to his hometown and help track a killer.

Clarissa King knew Vincent, once upon a time. Most of the kids called her Crazy Clarissa. She can communicate with spirits who have not yet moved on. Her mother and grandmother shared the gift. In her mother’s case, it drove her to suicide. Clarissa, like Vincent, is determined not to repeat her parent’s mistake. She uses her gift in her job as a family therapist and grief counselor.

So far, there have been two deaths in tiny Eerie, TN. The young women were killed in very brutal, but very different ways. Clarissa insists that the same individual, who uses the victim’s greatest fear to cause death, killed both. She’s been able to share the dying visions of the women, but the killer’s face is a blank. As the killings continue, Vincent is eventually forced to admit that the killer must be supernatural, and he can’t rule himself out as a suspect.

One of the main problems with the book is repetition. The author often squanders any tension she’s built during scenes of brutal murders or terrifying visions by reverting to Vincent, who is worried that he has bad blood, that he’s evil just like his father, that he needs sex daily, that he has bad blood, that he can’t love anyone, that he’s evil like his father, and that he has bad blood. It’s just too much, too often, and it undermines the pace of the story. The ‘final’ denouement is disappointingly brief, and there’s information provided at the end that seems tacked on, in order to continue the series.

The author has a great idea for a supernatural thriller here. The forces of evil (Satan, demons, the god of fear) are very real, very local, and able to possess a human body in order to commit murders. Vincent’s heritage is both good and evil; he knows that he could go either way, and he’s desperate to stay on the right side of the line. Clarissa wants to help the spirits of the dead women move on. It’s a solid idea with great inherent conflict. Unfortunately, the execution is just not up to par this time.

Rating: 6
September 2008
ISBN# 0-446-19947-8 (paperback)

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