by D. D. Barant

July 2009
ISBN: 0-312-94258-3
Reviewer Graphic Button St. Martin`s Press
Mass Market Paperback

FBI profiler Jace Valchek falls asleep one night and wakes up in a whole new world. In an alternate reality where humans are extremely rare, Jace finds herself working for a vampire. In fact, vampires and lycanthropes are the two main species in this world, and all the rules have changed.

Why would an eons-old vampire have need of a profiler? Well, because while hemovores and lycans cannot succumb to mental illness, they have a serial killer on the loose. They need Jace to help them track down the villain. But Jace will have to learn the ropes quickly or she may be next on the list.

Author D. D. Barant offers readers a whole new spin on urban fantasy in Dying Bites. The premier book of the Bloodhound Files is filled with suspense, action and snatches of humor as Jace tries to outwit the killer. She is understandably adrift in this reality, where guns don't exist, and terrible things have been done to promote the paranormal paradigm shift. Can she trust anyone at the NSA or are they just as evil as the murderer?

Bringing readers up to speed on the rules of a new world can be done awkwardly or woven into the threads of a story. In this case, the author has made it part and parcel of Jace's ongoing immersion into the society. She learns the rules as she goes, and so do the readers. There is no plethora of information followed by a test. It is relatively seamless and works well. The trick will be to make sure that none of the underlying rules are broken for the sake of plot. So far, so good.

Dying Bites gives readers plenty to think about, and more to anticipate as the series continues with Death Blows. I am looking forward to reading the next book.

Reviewed in July 2009 by Paula.

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