Sherry Gottlieb adds a little spice to the tasty bloodsucker stew of vampire fiction. Like Laurell K. Hamilton's excellent Anita Blake series
, Gottlieb writes about steamy, erotic power duels between humans and the undead. Gottlieb's Love Bite
introduced Los Angeles homicide detective Jace Levy, who falls under the spell of the damnably attractive vampire Risha Cadigan. Worse Than Death
plunges Jace still deeper into vampire country in another tale uniting horror, suspense, and never-ending vampire hanky-panky.
Retired from the force, Jace still does private investigations, and he takes on a Hollywood extortion case. Producer Robert Brandon may preach clean, moral family fun in his films, but his real-life ethics are filthy. A videotape of his brief encounter with an aspiring actress has fallen into the hands of a blackmailer, and it's Jace's job to expose the felon. Although there is no great mystery novel here, the preternatural elements give the book some fizz. Deeply in love with Risha, Jace faces a life-or-death choice: should he become a vampire himself, allowing him an eternal honeymoon with his undead goddess? Is he prepared to feed on the blood of humans, say goodbye to his reflection, and God forbid, lose his taste for coffee? Jace loves coffee.
Worse Than Death is not on the same elevated literary plane as Laurell K. Hamilton's books, but it's at least as sex-obsessed--a quick and dirty read, a supernatural romp that will amuse die-hard vampire fans and voyeurs alike. --Naomi Gesinger
From Publishers Weekly
Immortality may solve certain problems, but it creates others, as retired LAPD detective Jace Levy discovers when he allows his girlfriend, luscious photojournalist vampire Risha Cadigan, to sink her fangs into his neck. In this vampire/detective sequel to Love Bite, 43-year-old Jace and eternally 30-year-old Risha expect to grow closer now that Jace is a vampire, too, but despite the fun they have together prowling for human victims, their relationship is increasingly acrimonious. Jace blames Risha for failing to warn him about the effects of vampirism on the male sex organ; Risha discovers that as a human Jace suffered from fatal Huntington's chorea, and accuses him of becoming a vampire to save himself from death rather than to pledge his undying love to her. All the while, Jace is working freelance to locate a blackmailer who extorts cash from a Hollywood producer and a wealthy accountant, both of whom were patrons of a high-class call-girl ring. Though he is a crime buster by day and a blood-sucking killer by night, Jace sees little irony in his position. In any case, he is too preoccupied by his dysfunctional sex life to pay concentrated attention to his work. The thriller plot heats up as Jace tracks a psychopathic orphan, but the resolution is far-fetched and ultimately disappointing. Gottlieb is at her best when she chronicles Jace and Risha's vampirism and the intersection of their domain with the human world--Risha has a human servant, Elliott, who helps her do things like apply her makeup--since vampires aren't reflected in mirrors, but monotonous vampire sex gets all-too-exhaustive treatment. Insatiable fans of fanged creatures will likely appreciate the tale, but others may find it simply tiresome. (Jan.)
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.