ImaJinn, May 2009, $14.00
Medusa's Island is a tourist attraction with pristine beaches making it look like a paradise. However, five years ago this seemingly Eden was hell. A vampire was killing females, turning them into his kind; the only human to escape was Emma gray who does not remember that Chief of Police James Winchester saved her life. James actually came to this island because as a vampire slayer and vampire he sensed evil, but he failed to kill the master vampire.
Emma remains fearful of the dark, never goes out at night and refuses to allow any male into her home. James has diligently watched over her for the past five years because she is his soul mate even though she keeps him at a distance. He finally breaks through the barriers she constructed around her heart, but conceals the fact he is a vampire as he is unsure how to break the news to her so he decides to let her become more comfortable with him and hopefully fall in love with him. However, before he can complete his plan, the evil returns with both him and Emma sensing the malevolent presence who has come for Emma.
Allie Harrison has written a sensually interesting vampire romance in which the supernatural species consists of evil and good members. James is a perfect hero willing to kill his own kind to save humans; his patience with Emma will have fans adoring him. He has killed hundreds of malevolent vampires while his protecting mortals makes him feel somewhat human again. Readers will enjoy this terrific thriller anticipating how Emma will react to her protector when she learns the truth that he is the same species as the predator coming for her. Harriet Klausner
Ace, Jul 7 2009, $15.00
The New Gods live on two different worlds: the paradise New Genesis and the hell hole Apokolips that makes Dante’s description seem mild. The ruler of Apokolips is Darkseid, who intends to destroy the multiverse that consists of fifty-two universes; in the end he plans to rule over a new multiverse. There are opposition forces trying to prevent his cataclysmic scheme from happening, but he is currently maneuvering former super humans as expendable chess pawns furthering his chances of success.
Jimmy Olsen suddenly develops super powers that activates when his life is in danger. The Monitor Solomon kidnaps Donna “Wonder Girl” Troy and former Robin, Jason Todd, a bitter young man,. They need to find Ray “Atom” Palmer who vanished due to grief after his wife became mentally insane and became a killer. The Atom holds the key to the survival of all fifty-two multiverses.
This follow-up to INFINITE CRISIS and 52 continues the story of the War between the New Gods with the COUNTDOWN to the end of the multiverse as “we” know it. There are several subplots besides those above including one involving Mary Marvel coming out of a coma and Catwoman coming out of enforced retirement (as did Todd and Troy). Fun and exciting especially for DC fans of the older Crisis on Infinite Earth saga and the Jack Kirby's New Gods pantheon will enjoy the latest novelization of the end of the multiverse; newcomers will be as confused as the original baby boomers were back in the post Silver Age. Harriet Klausner
Bad Things Happen
Amy Einhorn Books (Putnam), Jul 23 2009, $24.95
David Loogan lives and hides in Ann Arbor in hope of moving past a violent history that he knows he will never forget. He begins to write a short story for Gray Streets literary crime-fiction journal. Though he never finishes the project, the magazine publisher Tom Kristoll likes what he has seen. He offers David a position as an editor, which he accepts. David, Tom, and his wife Laura become friends.
Tom obtains David’s help in dumping a corpse though the former does not believe the latter’s explanation. Soon afterward Tom falls to his death from his office window. AAPD Homicide Detective Elizabeth Waishkey suspects David killed Tom especially when evidence surfaces that he slept with Laura. As other people associated with Gray Streets die, single mom Elizabeth focuses even more intensely on David, who conducts his own inquiry to uncover the killer before he is on trial.
The fun in this terrific twisting serial killer investigative tale is the writers who are intelligent and witty until they become the star of someone else’s plot. The story line is fast-paced and the amateur sleuth prime suspect and the obstinate cop chasing him makes for an intriguing duel. Mindful of the movies' Theater of Blood and Murder by Death, but less hammy, fans will enjoy Harry Dolan’s fine thriller that as Vincent Price said (in Theatre of Blood) is “much ado about murder”.