Cherie Priest – Bloodshot
17. Bloodshot by Cherie Priest (2011)
Length: 384 pages
Genre: Urban Fantasy/Mystery
Started: 26 February 2014
Finished: 05 March 2014
Where did it come from? LibraryThing’s Secret SantaThing (over a year ago. I’m the worst.)
Why do I have it? Picked for me by my secret santa.
How long has it been on my TBR pile? Since 24 December 2012.
A vampire has
an edge as a thief, but can
she outwit the Feds?
Summary: Raylene Pendle is a famous thief who also happens to be a vampire. She’s not the sort for friends – letting anyone too close is a good way to be uncovered as being both a criminal and non-human. So when she’s approached for a potential job – at her unlisted home address – she’s understandably a little wary. Her client is Ian Stott, another vampire. That’s unusual enough, but Ian’s case has a wrinkle that really grabs Raylene’s attention: Ian is the victim of a group that’s conducting experiments on vampires, and he wants Raylene to steal the documents relating to the secret project that left him blind. She’s intrigued – and outraged – enough that she’s willing to help, but going up against the Men in Black may prove too much for even Raylene’s formidable skills.
Review: This book was fun to read, and I didn’t have any major problems, but in the final analysis, urban paranormal mystery/thriller just isn’t a genre that’s my favorite, or even one in which I’m particularly interested. I suppose I knew that going in; detective thrillers are usually not my favorites to begin with (and even though Raylene is a thief, she’s acting enough like a detective in this case to count). It turns out that making the protagonist a vampire didn’t really help a lot – her vampirism takes a back seat for most of the book, usually only making her faster and stronger in a fight. So the meat of the book really is straight-up thriller: people getting into fights and shooting at each other and chasing each other and things getting blown up, etc. So that was fun, Priest keeps things moving quickly and with plenty of action, so I was certainly entertained throughout.
Priest also does a nice job with the characters. Raylene’s voice is clear and distinctive, and done without relying on gimmicks or tics or catch phrases that so often substituted for real character development. I particularly liked her interactions with the two street kids she’s allowing to squat in her warehouse of stolen goods, and I thought the character of Adrian, the ex-military drag queen who winds up becoming Raylene’s sidekick, was done really thoughtfully.
I didn’t think the mystery aspect was as well developed as it could have been. There were elements I didn’t guess ahead of time, so I guess that’s in the book’s favor, but I was hoping for something more complicated and interesting than “shadowy government conspiracy”, but that’s all there was. This may be because there is at least one sequel to the book, so more of the secrets behind Project Bloodshoot may be yet to be revealed, but for this book as a standalone, I didn’t find the resolution entirely satisfying. I also don’t think I’m particularly likely to pick up the sequel. Again, this is a fine book, well-written, funny, lots of good action and good characterization, and I was certainly entertained the whole way through. But it’s just not a genre on which I’m particularly interested in spending much of my time, even if there are vampires involved. 4 out of 5 stars.
Recommendation: If you like urban fantasy or mystery thrillers, this is (as far as I can tell) a fun and well-written addition to the field. If you’re reading it mostly for the vampires, though, it’s probably not going to entirely satisfy.
First Line: You wouldn’t believe the weird shit people pay me to steal.
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