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THE VAMPIRE SHRINK
by Lynda Hilburn
Silver Oak, April 2012
321 pages
$14.95
ISBN: 1402792786


Buy in the UK | Buy in Canada

Midnight is dragged to Kismet Knight's office by her parents, who want her "cured" of her vampire fixation. Knight is willing to give this a shot; it's her job, after all. What's different about Midnight changes Knight's life in ways she couldn't possibly imagine when she agreed to take Midnight as her patient. Midnight is not crazy or deluded or in the middle of a teenage Goth period. She really wants to be a vampire, just like the ones she's met.

Devereux is the head honcho for vampires in Denver. When he meets Kismet, he declares (eventually) that she is "his," his mate, he's been waiting for her literally for ages and ages. He demonstrates this to her by showing her a painting he painted back when God was in short pants, a painting of her. Unfortunately for Kismet, Bryce wants Dev back; they were an item back in the Dark Ages or something and he is conflicted about this. Bryce wants Dev back in the worst way, and he also hates Dev for leaving him. This puts Kismet in the middle of a triangle. She's not comfortable with this, but finds pentagrams even more unpleasurable.

Kismet is totally attracted to Dev. Is this vampire mind control or how she really feels? Complicating matters is the FBI Special Agent who is trying to track down his vampire mother. Alan Stevens wants to work with Kismet. He also wants to play with Kismet, and she discovers that he plays well with others, especially with her. Dev isn't happy about this, but he's got time on his side and he knows either she'll get over it and/or Alan will die. Dev definitely take the long view.

Throw in a demented phone caller, more deaths, some heavy partying, and a little animosity from some of Dev's minions and you've got a pretty good story.

Hilburn's first entry into the booming sub-genre of vampire romance/mystery is well written. She bends some of the rules, but explains those differences in ways that are consistent with the world she is creating. Dev is annoying; he's trying with her to be a "modern" kind of guy but it isn't always going as well as he'd like. He's got a lot of adjusting to do. She's the first woman in close to forever who really does have a mind of her own in terms of relating to him. Bad for the ego, both male and vampire. My only objection to Hilburn's writing has nothing to do with the story: is there a writer anywhere today who can write a steamy sex scene (which Ms. Hilburn can) without using the word "lave" at some point? (Ms. Hilburn can't, or at any rate, didn't. Argh!).

P.J. Coldren lives in northern lower Michigan where she reads and reviews widely across the mystery genre when she isn't working in her local hospital pharmacy.

Reviewed by P.J. Coldren, February 2013

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Contact: Yvonne Klein (ymk@reviewingtheevidence.com)


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