Dell, Jul 6 2010, $7.99
Federal Bureau of Preternatural Investigations (FBPI) field enforcer Alexandra Sabian resides in Jefferson, Mississippi; a town in which half of the six thousand residents are vampires to include forty-something Alex. She relocated to the quiet town six years ago for some needed respite from her internal issues.
An unknown predator begins serial mutilating and killing vampires that remind Alex of her father’s brutal homicide forty years ago, which haunts her. Nassau County Sheriff Harvey Manser makes it clear at the latest murder scene that his belief that the only good vampire is a truly dead vampire. The remains are horrific with fangs and heads removed amongst other vicious mutilations. The FBPI provides Alex with backup sending in retired agent Varik Baudelaire; her former fiancé and mentor whom she detests for his betrayal.
This is an entertaining urban fantasy with a fascinating premise that does not always work. Four decades ago the vampires came out of the coffins demanding equal rights and legally received them within seven years of protesting, but de facto racism remains strong. The story line is at its best when the focus is on the taut dysfunctional relationship between the investigating FBPI agents. When the tale takes a moral species rights stand, it becomes too obvious a metaphor that pales compared to the realities of the Civil Rights Movement. Still readers will enjoy the opening gamut of the FBPI as Mississippi’s Burning.