Victoria Nelson #1
Vicki Nelson used to be a homicide detective, but after a disease started to eat away at her eyesight, she decided to leave the force and get her PI license. Only the police aren't completely done with her - when she discovers a body that's part of a string of mysterious serial murders, she's drawn into an investigation in which she learns far more about what's hidden in the shadows than she ever dreamed possible.
Considering this book was published in 1991, it was pretty interesting to see the differences between it and today's urban fantasy. I'd say the biggest difference is the perspective; Blood Price is written from multiple third-person points of view rather than sticking with a single first-person narrator. For the most part that's perfectly fine, though I thought after the first murder victim we didn't really need to see inside any more soon-to-be-dead heads, and I'm still opposed to writing from the villain's perspective in this sort of story, since it kills a lot of the suspense.
Vicki was an unusual protagonist in that she herself is not supernatural in any way (unless she develops some abilities in the rest of the series). An interesting part of the story was watching her come to grips with the existence of this world, and I actually thought she accepted it a little too easily, though Huff made it seem reasonably within her character to do so. Vicki's vision problems gave her a surprising mix of vulnerability and bravery - she was a bit of an idiot sometimes, but it was obvious that she took risks because she wanted to prove she could still be as good as she once was.
The vampire who introduces Vicki to the underworld was none other than Henry Fitzroy, bastard son of Henry VIII (who somehow seems to be a popular candidate for supernaturalization). That added some interesting backstory to the book, but once again, I thought some of that might have been better saved for later. I like mystery in my books more than exhaustive explanations.
The story itself was very investigation-oriented, so if you enjoy that sort of novel, this would be one for you. It was pretty intriguing to see how Vicki worked with and around the police to utilize her new knowledge of the supernatural. The premise behind the murders was one I hadn't exactly heard before, though similar stories have come across my shelf. The ending was certainly suspenseful enough to make up for revealing too much information beforehand, so overall I was satisfied with this story. I won't be in a hurry to read the rest of the series, but I'll be happy to know it's there for a slow day.
Plot: 3 cupcakes
Characters: 3 cupcakes
Style: 2 cupcakes
Overall: 3 cupcakes
GARS Score: 1.5 (3/3/2/2)
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If you liked Blood Ties, try:
Mark of the Demon by Diana Rowland (Kara Gillian #1)
Storm Front by Jim Butcher (Dresden Files #1)
Guilty Pleasures by Laurell K. Hamilton (Anita Blake #1)