In a world where monsters are known to—and despised by—humanity, vampire Chaz Solomon hides in plain sight as a detective on the Toronto police force. But freedom from prejudice does nothing to alleviate his guilt over the lover he betrayed to gain his label of “normal.” He spends his days living a lie and his nights in a brothel, seeking company and black-market blood.
When a serial killer preying on both vampires and sex workers leads Chaz and his department on a twisted chase through New Canadiana’s supernatural underground, one of the brothel employees, Sully, becomes the only person Chaz can trust. There’s much more to Sully than a pretty face, and he’s slowly breaching the walls around Chaz’s heart with his intelligence and kind nature.
But as the body count rises and conspiracies come to light, the past Chaz has been trying to escape comes rushing back. Sully might accept Chaz as a vampire, but will he forgive Chaz’s other deceptions? And what will become of Chaz’s life if his secret is revealed? Before he can worry about a future with Sully, he’ll have to find the vengeful murderer threatening everything he cares about.
This is the second book in the New Canadiana series, following a different couple from the first book. That being said, this could be read as a standalone. The only thing you would be missing would be the backstory.
As vampire stories go, this isn’t typical, which I enjoyed. Vampires and other paramormals are discriminated against in this world where paranormals are out. As a vampire, Chaz did everything in his power to be removed from the discrimination, obtaining papers that proclaimed him free of the vampire virus. I admit that I came away from book one not liking him very much and with the opinion he was a selfish sellout. Now he’s a tenacious detective and he appears to be a good guy, haunted by his past transgressions. This story delved into how paranormals were being treated and was quite depressing. Most of the sex workers aren’t human. The explanation being that vampires are often prostitutes because it was the easiest way to get what they needed even as they were taken advantage of. The serial killer uses that to their advantage, preying on vampires and sex workers. I struggled with how things were presented and couldn’t read more than a couple of chapters per sitting. A good portion of the story is detective work which is fine but there were issues with pacing, where the story slowed to a crawl.
Sully works for the brothel where Chaz visits from company and the black market blood. Chaz’s relationship with Sully had a lot of angsty back and forth that got old after a while. Sully’s background was heartbreaking and his character was endearing. I rooted for both of them and enjoyed the times when chemistry between them worked, becoming the bright spots in the story. At other times there was just too much drama for me and I rolled my eyes a lot.
I liked the story well enough until the last quarter of the story. There were some plot issues that made somethings that happened seem contrived or illogical. It got to the point that I just wanted it to be over and had a difficult time not skimming through sections that were unbelievable. I really wanted to like this more but I’m sure that there are others who will enjoy the dark themes and angsty drama more than I did.