Raylene Pendle is full of snark and a damn fine princess of pilfering….after all she’s had practice. Like close to a century of donning sleek and stylish cat burgling attire, as she stealthily acquires pretty baubles in which to store in her warehouse of goodies.
But this time, her latest job comes knocking at her door, not the other way around, and despite being spooked that she’s been tracked down, she ends up being pulled into a vampire conspiracy that reaches to the highest levels of government. It will drag her through a virtual storm of grenades, abandoned military installations, gunfire, parkour, a drag queen review, multiple unmarked cars, and a whole lotta blood.
Raylene is an irreverent self-serving gruff- but with a gooey center-though she doesn’t know it yet. She’s also a ruthless vampire who has lived as a rogue for much of her life which puts her at a disadvantage when it comes to caring for people. She hasn’t had much to live for besides acquisition and looking continually over her shoulder. But Priest gives her something to live for…her acquired pet people….Pepper and Domino, the enigmatic Ian Stott who she is drawn to…for his fragile vulnerability and his exquisite killing force….and Adrian the hot-to-trot former Seal turned entertainer…their verbal ripostes are a constant source of amusement zinging merrily back and forth.
I have a thing for flawed, broken, characters and Priest has wrapped Raylene up so nicely for her readers….presenting us with the ripe opportunity to see this character grow and that she does…from the very first explosive pages. Her determination to find those responsible for Ian’s predicament, and to hone in on the fear that it could easily happen to her….to any other vampire… is a compelling push for the truth…no matter what the cost. She and Adrian will burn it all down with the added reward of some bloodthirsty revenge along the way.
I would have liked to see a more intimate glimpse of the inner workings and politics of the Houses…and their leaders-but maybe in Hellbent (Cheshire Red #2) Priest has something planned? I am rubbing my hands in maniacal glee just conjuring all the angles this amazing series can go.
What more can I say? I just got off the Bloodshot ride at the Cherie Priest amusement park and I gotta tell you it was a hell of a ride. Even my lipstick is smeared from the G-force Priest turbulence. And I got a runner in my pantyhose.
A Fiendishly Bookish Review (and one grumpy cat)