Review: To Catch a Vampire by Jennifer Harlow

To Catch a Vampire by Jennifer Harlow
Series: F.R.E.A.K.S (# 2)
Release Date: September 8, 2012
Publisher: Midnight Ink
Pages: 288
Source: NetGalley

Mission #2 brings sizzling kisses and deadly vengeance

Beatrice Alexander is still adjusting to life as a secret special agent, wiping out zombies and other supernatural threats. Now, a new case requires partnership with her annoying and gorgeous vampire co-worker Oliver. To infiltrate the goth vamp scene in Dallas, Texas, they must go undercover as a married couple and, Oliver’s convincing public affection has Bea swooning in her bustier and fishnets. Clubbing with the undead turns bloody when Oliver’s old enemy, the vampire lord of Dallas, turns up.

 

Review:  I had the great pleasure of reviewing Jennifer’s debut novel last year and I loved the fresh idea.  And while it was gory in parts, they were hunting down zombies after all, it was a pretty clean read.  In fact, shortly after I read it, my, at the time pre-teen, nephew took the book read it and immediately wanted book two.  However, with this book 2, Jennifer definitely goes more adult with some of the topics dealt with and I have to tell my nephew that at 13, he’s just a little too young for this book.  And that saddened me.  I wish that the books hadn’t gone in this direction.

From what the blurb tells the reader, this book is set in the world of vampires as Beatrice and Oliver team up to investigate a series of unexplained murders in Dallas.  In book one, there was some sexual tension between Bea and Oliver, but she had stronger feelings for Will.  In this book, the sexual tension is ratcheted up a lot and now there’s a  love triangle.  Due to the goth scene and vampire world that these two are infiltrating, there is a lot of sex mentioned.  And here’s a minor spoiler… there’s even a memory scene of  a murder victim and her friends being kidnapped and rape.  Spoiler over.  For me, while as an adult and reader of erotica and romance, this doesn’t phase me.  But as someone going into reading this book and expecting another fun, clean paranormal mystery… well, I didn’t get it.  And have to say that this is definitely a read for those over the age of 16 (at least).

Don’t get me wrong.  I liked the book.  The mystery itself was pretty solid.  Granted it was “solved” pretty fast, but then Bea and Oliver as well as their other FREAKS had to clean up afterwards.  I could have used more mystery and suspense, to fit my tastes.

I did however, like the growth seen in Bea.  In book 1, she was unsure of herself and her powers and then thrown into a completely foreign paranormal world.  In book 2, she’s a little more confident, but with great room for more growth.  She also has two hot men vying for her attentions, which is unfamiliar territory and I found it entertaining to watch as she deals with her feelings while still trying to remain professional and solve the mystery at hand.

All in all, it was a solid book but I went into it expecting something different than I got.  This book is in some ways darker than the first.  But it’s able to stand on it’s own, but as with most series, it makes more sense when read in order.