(Vampire Babylon Book 1)
Chris Marie Green
Published 2007 336 pages
Stuntwoman Dawn Madison never knew her famous movie star mother because she died when Dawn was still a baby. Her relationship with her father Frank had always been strained but when he goes missing Dawn doesn’t hesitate to return to LA and look for him.
Her first port of call is Limpet and Associates, the Private Detective agency where Frank had been working up to his disappearance. Frank’s fellow detectives, Kiko - psychic midget and wannabe actor - and Breisi - ex-soap actress and the agency’s resident science geek - are somewhat odd but Jonah Limpet (Frank’s boss) is beyond strange. Known only a voice, he gives his instructions verbally by electronic means, although he seems to know a lot about what is going on he never leaves the office building and has never been seen….
Dawn learns that Frank was working on the Robby Pennybaker case when he went missing. Robby Pennybaker was a child star, who died of a drug overdose 23 years ago. As Hollywood regularly chews up and spits out child actors the death of Robby was tragic but not unusual. What is unusual is the sighting of Robby in the background of a current movie – alive and unaged since the time of his death.
Dawn joins with Limpet and Associates in order to find her father convinced that if she finds Robby Pennybaker she will find Frank. It soon becomes clear to her that even in Hollywood truth can be stranger than fiction for Limpet and Associates are a paranormal investigation agency. She soon finds that there is a whole vampire underground hiding in Hollywood and every lead about the whereabouts of Frank seems to point back to the vampires.
Night Rising – Vampire Babylon is the first book in a new trilogy set in the exciting world of paranormal Hollywood written by author Chris Marie Green. Chris Marie Green is a pen name for Crystal Green, an experienced romance writer who has also written "The Huntress" a vampire/paranormal romance for Silhouette. Vampire Babylon is a world away from Silhouette romance. Described as a noir-mystery-fantasy series, it is dark, erotic and compelling reading.
The heroine Dawn is a likable, well written character with flaws, surprising depths and hidden strengths. She comes across as realistically human - with a less than perfect career and her feelings of guilt about her relationship with her father. If she does seem obsessed by the memory of her beautiful and perfect movie star mother forgive her, because (without wanting to give too much away) I suspect it is relevant to later plot developments.
The vampire underground makes imaginative use of vampire mythology, with a set hierarchy of vampires. Vampire Guards are at the bottom of the pile with brutal strength and formidable weapons but little intelligence except to follow orders. Groupies are next. These vampires are beautiful and alluring but weak. Then there are the Elite, stronger vampires who can pass for human and at the top of the hierarchy is the Master, strong and ancient he is a full blooded vampire. He is also a mysterious character who I’m looking forward to finding out more about as the series develops.
Night Rising has a well constructed mystery plot. In fact, as parts of the mystery are revealed we are left with more questions and new conundrums, which should not only keep readers engaged in this story but invested in the whole series. In particular the reader, like Dawn herself, never knows which characters can be trusted and who is telling the truth. As this is the first part in a trilogy we will just have to wait and see how the whole story turns out but Night Rising is an exciting start.
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You can read an excerpt from this novel and find out more details about the Vampire Babylon series on the Vampire Babylon website.