Thursday, July 29, 2010

When Blood Calls-J.K. Beck

When Blood Calls
J.K. Beck
Bantam, Aug 31 2010, $7.99
ISBN: 9780440245773

Manhattan-based government attorney Sara Constantine is euphoric following her win in court. She celebrates her victory by spending a heated one night stand with stranger, Lucius Dragos; who is at the tavern because Braddock, who he will kill later that night, is there. Sara is rewarded with a promotion to Division 6; whose lawyers prosecute vampires, werewolves, hellhounds and demons.

To her chagrin, fate deflates her enthusiasm when she is assigned to argue the government’s case against alleged killer Lucius Dragos. He likes Sara and not just because of the great sex. She somehow abates his demon. He argues she needs to take the blindfold off as he insists justice is not a blind legal adherence to the law because where evil deserves death; while she insists the law is the law even as she wonders if the man she prosecutes and loves is a vampire.

Ignoring conflict of interest based on the Judge Scalia defense of not recusing In Cheney v. United States District Court for the District of Columbia Supreme Court case, this is a fascinating legal thriller inside an urban fantasy setting with a touch of romance. Though there is plenty of action in the first Shadow Keepers thriller, the story line is owned by the lead couple who debate justice. Readers will believe the Beck universe is real while pondering the same questions that disturb dedicated prosecutor Sara. If someone murders a serial killer they may be legally a criminal but morally are they delivering justice to an amoral ergo inhuman predator? That is the essence of Lucius’ argument as he insists he killed a malevolence that deserved death, but as Sara (and the audience) ponders should he be judge, jury and executioner as a seemingly vigilante. Their falling in love enhances the legal vs. moral argument.

Harriet Klausner

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