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Watchers in the Night by Jenna Black
Review by Carolyn Frank
Tor Books Mass Market  ISBN/ITEM#: 0765354519
Date: 31 October, 2006 List Price $6.99 Amazon US / Amazon UK / Show Official Info /

In this universe, Philadelphia hosts an old vampire, Eli, who has formed a group of vampires called the Guardians. To avoid decimating the local citizenry, the Guardians get by on a diet of lamb's blood, and are focused on hunting out and destroying killer vampires. As a relatively new vampire, Grey is unsure whether he wants to join the Guardians, but does find himself still in love with Carolyn.

When a killer vampire comes to town, he confounds the police by raping his female victims, sucking their blood and then destroying the fang mark evidence by slitting their throats. Although the police are at a loss, the Guardians soon figure out that the serial killer is a vampire. With inside knowledge of the Guardians, the killer takes advantage of Gray's indecision and works to frame him as the murderer. Gray eventually approaches Carolyn for help, but this is a relationship with a lot of issues.

These vampires are immortal, stoppable only by a lead bullet to the head or a stake through the heart, possessive of a glamour that freezes in their tracks anyone who meets vampire eyes, and, of course, terribly sexy. Somehow, with no stated means of support, all vampires manage to dress impeccably, which accentuates their body appeal.

As this is modern day, Carolyn does her research by gathering fingerprints and searching the Web. And as this is Philadelphia, excellent depictions are made of the outside archways of City Hall, in and around which many of the murders take place, and of the typical row houses in which the vampires, and for that matter, most people, live.

The identity of the killer vampire is easy to figure out. Any romance where the main characters have to keep telling the reader that they are in love because otherwise the love aspect is not credible is lacking in passion. But the vampires are cool, if not all particularly intelligent. So this is a book for vampire-lovers, with lots of fangs, much blood, and a bit of sex.

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