This is the type of book that makes me wish Goodreads had half stars. For my other book blogging places, I can say this would have gotten a solid four stars until losing at least a half because of the ending.
It opens in Africa with the death of FBI special agent Aloysius Pendergast's wife, Helen. A decade later, he learns it wasn't a hunting accident but rather, murder. (No spoilers there, it's on the dust cover). Understandably, Pendergast wants to find out why his wife, in theory a gentle woman who worked for Doctors with Wings (along the lines of Doctors without Borders), dead. He enlists the help of his friend Vinnie D'Agosta from NYPD (and later Vinnie's lover Captain Hayward).
This is the type of story that works only if the protagonist is rich but Pendergast is so… As they start turning over rocks, looking for Helen's killer, the bodies start piling up. The reader knows who is behind it but watching Pendergast and D'Agosta try to figure it out is quite good. In fact, I really enjoyed this mystery a great deal.
So why did I want to give it somewhat less stars? The ending and one of the subplots. About half way through, Constance Greene, Pendergast's ward pops up and is in a lot of trouble. I have no idea why this was in there other than to lend that X-File like is it real or is it supernatural feel a lot of the Pendergast mysteries have. That, and to set up for the next book I'm assuming since this storyline trails off into the void. For that matter the whole thing is far too open ended for me so the ending really sucked away my enjoyment but still, it's a pretty good book over all.
Blood Sucker: Legend of Zipangu #1by Aki Shimizu & Saki Okuse
In spite of the rather lame title, this was fairly decent. Found it at halfprice bookstore and it is an 8-year-old manga at this point (which means I probably won't find any more). This is not the romantic sort of vampires. These vampires are utter killers. The beginning is a mix of 300 years ago and today. 300 years ago the vampire Migiri pretty much owned Japan until someone beheaded him. Today, someone has resurrected Migiri and one of the people standing in his way is Yusuke Himukai who is maimed and hospitalized for two years and in the process lose Kikuri during his first meeting with Migiri (who Kikuri is we're not sure but probably a lover).
Two years later, the police have Yusuke sprung from the hospital by Maezono, a young woman who is more or less a dhampire or half vampire and cold as ice. In the two years of Yusuke's commitment, Migiri has spread the vampire plague over much of Japan. Yusuke has a connection to the warrior who killed Migiri 300 years ago but we don't know what yet. There is another warrior, nameless unless I missed it, who seems to be a better vampire hunter than Yusuke and we see snippets of his battles.
Honestly, the story line isn't too unique but it's well told. It's gritty. The art is realistic and this carries a rating of 18+. It earns it. It's gory and there is full frontal nudity and no end of violence. I wonder if I can turn up #2.