Monday, 17 December 2012

Hard Bitten by Chloe Neill

Title: Hard Bitten
Chloe Neill
Publisher: Gollancz
ISBN: 978-0-575-10018-3
Pages: 350
Series: Chicagoland Vampires #4
Type: Adult Urban Fantasy
Source: Purchased

Chicago's vampires are having a hard time. Previously seen as celebrities after their revelation the tide is now turning. Merit and Ethan are called to a clandestine meeting with Mayor Tate after a violent vampire rave left three women missing and potentially dead. With Tate threatening to jail Ethan for the crime, Merit investigates only to discover that things aren't quite what they seem and that a deadly new drug is being used by the vampire community.

This is the fourth book in the Chicagoland Vampires series (after Some Girls Bite, Friday Night Bites and Twice Bitten) which is one of my favourite urban fantasy series. At this point a new reader could jump in, but they'd be missing a lot of backstory. The storyline is great with tight pacing that builds the tension right up to the shocking heartbreaking end. There are a lot of twists and turns and the mystery is packed with red herrings.

Merit teams up with Red Guard member and Grey house Guard Captain Jonah to investigate how and why the vampire raves (essentially parties where vampires openly drink from willing humans) are becoming deadly. Their investigation soon leads to a drug called V and gives insight into a drug underworld. The storyline also has a political aspect as Mayor Tate flexes his power as well as the presence of a GP member reviewing Cadogan House.

Merit is growing more confident in her new life, although she is still struggling with the possibility of joining the Red Guard. The romance aspect of the story between Ethan and Merit has hit a crisis as Ethan has managed to shatter Merit's trust in him. Although he spends the majority of the book trying to make it up to her, the wounds he caused her mean she is holding back.

The usual supporting characters all return, with Mallory busy with her Sorcery apprenticeship while Merit's grandfather, Jeff and Catcher all assisting Merit from the law enforcement side.

All in all this was a great read and I'm looking forward to Drink Deep.

Plot: 10/10
Characters: 10/10
Ending: 10/10
Enjoyment: 10/10
Cover: 8/10

Overall: 48/50

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