Ted Nolan <tednolan>
2020-03-21 20:00:29 UTC
008 Moon Dance (Vampire for Hire, Book 1) by J.R. Rain
I have to say I was disappointed in this book, which from the
description sounded exactly like one I would really like.
Samantha Moon is an ex-Federal agent, who, after a mysterious assult
six years ago, is now a vampire. (Vampires are not known in this
setting -- she pretends to have a rare sun-sensitive skin condition).
Unable to work her former day job, she has set herself up as a PI.
She is pretty good at her new job, but her condition is gradually
causing her marriage to fall apart, and there is every possibility
her husband will take the kids and leave. In the meantime, she has
come to believe that her latest client may be a werewolf and there
are indications that other unknown players are becoming aware of
First of all, before I get into spoilers, it was just very flat and
lifeless. I could tell after a few minutes that the author hiding
behind first initials was a man, and that his heroine was trying
to deal with issues that he just couldn't put across. The characters
of her children never really came across, nor did the strength of
her supposed emotional bond with them. Similarly, it seemed at
times she was just watching her marriage fall apart rather than
Second, it was hard to like her at times. This is a fine line to
walk, but it can be done. Stacia Kane's Chess Putnam does horrible
things sometimes and fails herself and others but remains a rootable
character. In the case of Samantha Moon, it just comes across as
her being a jerk. For instance, at one point (minor spoiler not
related to the plot), she kicks a man in the balls for no better
reason than she didn't like something someone else told her he said.
He didn't grope her, come on to her, or even speak to her, just
made a comment to a third party. You can't go around assulting
people for stuff like that.
Third, Samantha was never in any real danger at any point in the
book. Maybe that works for a "cozy" mystery, but not a hardboiled
one, which this basically is.
Fourth, the book just seems.. slight. This is both in terms of
length, which struck me as very short (though I did not check the
pagecount) and plot which was neither complicated nor partularly
SPOILERS START HERE
Finally, I just did not believe the identity of the murderer. Moon
had made a point of mentioning her large, surgically augmented
breasts several times, so I did not find it at all credible that
she made the attempt on Moon's client while dressed as a man and
nobody noticed either in person or on the video(!) that she was not
in fact a man.