Watchers In The Night
Published 2006 296 pages
Three years ago police detective Carolyn Mathers was jilted at the altar by her fiancé Gray. He disappeared without trace and although she used all her detective skills she never managed to find out what happened to him and had given him up for dead.
Now working as a Private Investigator, Carolyn is stunned when Gray walks back into her life. This time, when he promptly tries to walk back out of her life again, Carolyn has no intention of letting him go. Tracking him down doesn’t take her long but Gray is still reluctant to give her answers about why he left her and what he has been doing since then.
Determined to get to the bottom of Gray’s strange behaviour Carolyn keeps investigating and eventually Gray tells her the truth; that he was attacked by a vampire after his stag party. He has been hiding away, living a half life since then because while he has managed to resist the call of the blood addiction and is not a Killer vampire, neither is he trusted enough to be a Guardian vampire.
The Guardians are vampires who work to protect humans by hunting down Killer vampires. They also try to save fledgling vampires from turning into Killers in the first place by helping them resist the addiction of drinking human blood.
An evil vampire is raping and murdering women across the city and Gray has been accused of murders. When the murderer targets Carolyn she starts to investigate the killings. With the Killer vampire setting up Gray to take the blame for the killings and the Guardians seeming all too eager to believe that Gray is the culprit, she is in a race against time to unmask the killer and save Gray.
Watchers In The Night is Jenna Black’s first foray into vampire romance and with Secrets In The Shadows scheduled for release in summer 2007 it won’t be her last either. The premise for the books is simple, good Guardian vampires protecting humanity from evil blood-addicted Killer vampires, but it works well.
I was intrigued by the Guardians and Killers and wanted to know more about them. The murders and mystery elements of the plot were by far the most exciting part of the story; they were both well thought out and cleverly plotted. The supporting characters were well written and added richness and depth to the story overall. Unfortunately the strength of these elements of the story highlights the weaknesses with the romantic element of this novel.
My problem with the romance part of the story is that I just couldn’t work myself up to be excited by Carolyn and Gray’s relationship. I really didn’t care much for either of them and this is a serious problem in a romance. It’s not just because Gray wasn’t an alpha-male type that he didn’t work for me but there was something lacking about both of them that made it hard for me to empathise with them.
Bizarrely I found Drake, Killer vampire with a conscience, to be a far more exciting and attractive character than the noble but somewhat dull romantic lead character. I don’t think that my attraction to a dangerous vampire is a personality fault of mine – truly, he was just written to be way more exciting.
The other supporting characters, Eli and Jules are also intriguing but Jules’ constant desire to find Gray guilty when it was obvious that he was being set up, does make him somewhat irritating.
I have to admit that I struggled to engage with this book and it was only the murder mystery part of the story that kept me reading. However, the overall premise of the book was good and I would be happy to read more about Jules, Eli or the yummy Drake if the author chooses to write romances about them in the future.
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