Reviewed by Vicki (Tori)
SERIES: Offbeat Crimes #3
AUTHOR: Angel Martinez
PUBLISHER: Pride Publishing
LENGTH: 137 pages
RELEASE DATE: April 4th, 2017
Words damage more than just feelings as Carrington hunts feral books menacing the city.
When a ferocious book attacks Carrington at his own birthday party, he believes it’s an isolated incident. But similar books soon pop up all over town, menacing innocent people with harsh bits of poetry and blank verse that deliver damaging physical blows. It’s a frustrating case with too many variables and not enough answers, and the stakes go up with each attack.
With the help of his misfit squad mates at the 77th and the public library’s Rare Books Department, the missing pieces decrease but not Carrington’s vexations. His commanding officer rakes him over the coals at the beginning of every shift. His police partner has lost patience with what she sees as his delusional relationship choices and his inability to pick the right man in a vast field of two. City Hall demands that the books be stopped immediately. It’s enough to put a nutritionally challenged vampire off his skim blood.
This is the story of Carrington, the misfit vampire, as he and his gang of equally misfit cops fight a pack of animated books. Carrington is a bit of a mess, he’s a vampire, super strong, super fast, apex predator, smarter than the average human, but he has an issue. He’s allergic to blood. Well sort of, he can have washed down, skim blood. Which he hates. Oh, and he can’t feed from humans. He can however, go out in the sun, with a hat, and glasses, and for very brief moments. Or he gets a headache. And nausea. And passes out. And he’s from a rich family, who is not fond of his job choice. Or his affliction. He’s also pretty much babied by his partner Amanda. But other than all of that he’s a total bad ass. With a tendency to make bad decisions about men. Which we get to see him do!
So Carrington is at his parents house for a totally inappropriate birthday party, with cake he can’t eat, in the sun that makes him sick in minutes, with people he doesn’t like, when he is attacked by a crazy book! It fling insults at him, then vanishes. He and Amanda investigate, and eventually involve the squad of paranormal oddities at the 77th precinct. They eventually work through the mystery of the animated books, with the help of Erasmus, a sweet librarian from the local libraries Rare Books Department. I found the plot about the books quite entertaining, but the true joy of this book is the characters.
Carrington is odd mix of strength and vulnerability, and I found him fascinating! I was curious about him in the last two books in this series, and I was very happy to see him get his own story. He is so wonderful, cool and sophisticated, vulnerable and shy. He wants a man to love, but keeps picking assholes. He does that in this story, he attempts to date a bookstore owner that ends up involved in the book mystery. But the guy turns out to be a total douche, and insults poor Carrington quite badly. However, there is a bright spot in Carrington’s sad life; Erasmus the librarian! The two meet in a professional capacity, but soon find themselves drawn together. Much to Carrington’s annoyance! He’s kinda over men, and he’s reluctant to trust Erasmus, until the two have a nice chat and sort themselves out. Then the fun begins!
We also get a nice look at the other members of the 77th, most of which we have seen in the previous two books. The newest addition is Ms. Hunter Green Pea Coat. If you have read the other books, you know that LJ is an actual animated leather jacket, unable to speak, but a big help to the 77th. He has a brief encounter with a lovely animated pea coat, who then vanishes. He is understandably heartbroken. The two reunite in this book, after some drama of course. This made me very happy!
I am a big fan of Angel Martinez, and one of the things I love most is her creative characters. She has given us some of the most unusual characters I’ve ever seen! This series has plenty to love, Tim, the little what-ever-he-is, a coffee making ghost, a werewolf, a lizard man, malfunctioning magical abilities, animated coats, a broken vampire, on and on it goes. Even the bad guys are cool, flying books, pill bugs, turtle like water creatures… It’s all so fun! Angel’s brain is such an amazing thing. She consistently provides fantastic characters, both main characters and side characters, creative plots, excellent writing, emotional and hot sex scenes, and lots of happy endings.
If you have read the other two books in this series, you’ll love this one. If you haven’t read them, you could probably read this one on its own, but you’ll have a much better grasp of who all of these weirdos are if you read the others first. They are so worth the time!