Viehl revisits the Darkyn vampires in this third volume of the series which opens with Samantha Brown and her sickly partner beginning the murder investigation of a bizarrely posed woman found on a park bench in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. The well-dressed victim was drowned, not in the nearby ocean but in fresh water with what appears to be an ancient relic, a jewel encrusted cross bearing the inscription “Lucan.” Is it coincidence that the owner of the nearby trendy goth nightclub is also named Lucan?
Sam’s investigation reveals little useful information yet when a dismembered contractor with ties to Lucan is discovered posed by a stagnant pool suspicion against him mounts, as does her attraction to the man. Lucan finds himself quite taken with Samantha as he sees in her echoes of a former lover. He decides to make her his using every available vampire trick yet Sam proves surprisingly resistant to him. Meanwhile several events are playing out in the battle between Vatican sanctioned killers and their Darkyn prey, between Sam and a deranged cop and within the Darkyn hierarchy that may well result in the death of all concerned.
Newcomers to this series would do well to read If Angels Burn or Private Demon first as this book assumes some familiarity with the characters and their history. The storyline and plot points are stronger, better defined then the previous work making for a smoother read. The predictable ending leaves several loose ends assuring more additions to this increasingly imaginative series.