Book Reviews

Dead Man Stalking (Blood and Bone 1) by TA Moore at Dreamspinner Press

Genre Gay / Urban Fantasy / Agents/Spies / Officers of the Law / Magic / Shifters / Vampires / Romance / Mystery/Suspense/Thriller
Reviewed by Christy Duke on 10-September-2019

Book Blurb

Agent Luke Bennett proved that humans could rise just as high in the ranks as their vampire colleagues—until a kidnapper held him captive for a year and turned him without his consent.

 

Now he’s Took: a reluctant monster afraid to bite anyone, broke, and about to be discharged from his elite BITERs unit.

 

When an old colleague suggests he consult on a BITERs case, Took has little to lose. The case is open and shut… but nothing is ever that easy. As he digs deeper, he discovers a lot more than one cold case is at stake, and if he wants to solve this one, he’ll need the help of the BITERs team. Even if that brings his old commander, Madoc, back into his life.

 

Book Review

“The sons of God came in unto the daughters of men, and they bore biters and reprobates they called Anakim. And mankind turned against the Anakim and would not sustain them. And they began to sin against birds, and beasts, and reptiles, and fish, and to devour one another’s flesh, and drink the blood.” ~ The Enochian Bible, the Book of Watchers, Ch 1 V 25

‘Dead Man Stalking’ is betrayal and politics, blood and gore, complicated and often confusing worldbuilding, hidden shadows and unrevealed truths, and a fast pace that keeps it all moving in an unending rollercoaster ride. Did I like it? I’d be remiss if I said I didn’t like it, but I also can’t say with 100 percent certainty that I thoroughly enjoyed it, either. It’s not really a story I could just “like”. It is dark and disturbing, sometimes in a good way, but more often than not in a very terrifying manner, and it definitely made an impact.

Took, formerly Agent Luke Bennett, has a lot of secrets and a considerable amount of blank space in his mind from the year he spent being tortured and turned against his will. The secrets he had when he came East from California, and even after all this time, he has never revealed them. As to the holes in his memory? Those are as much due to PTSD as to what he endured during his torture. Regardless, they are things that trouble him constantly and made it difficult for me to get a true understanding of him. Madoc is even more of a puzzle as a four-hundred-year-old vampire, or Anakim, who used to be a cardinal in the Old Country but now is head of the BITERS and in love with Took.

VINE (Violent Infections and Nullification Enforcement) is the preternatural law in the Americas… although how it came about and when is left unexplained, along with quite a few other pieces of this world. It’s an interesting world filled with many different paranormals but, in my opinion, the author often failed to explain the role of many of the “creatures” she named, causing me some frustration as I struggled to understand where everything fit together. BITERS, or BTR (Bloodcrimes Tactical Response), is to all intents and purposes SWAT for VINE, however once again, who answers to whom and what the exact duties are is a little muddled.

The mystery portion of this book is very good but because of what I perceived to be holes in the worldbuilding, some of the conclusions drawn and hunches born seemed to come from nothing even though I struggled to find the answers. I should point out that this is probably my error although I don’t consider myself stupid, and my conclusions shouldn’t prevent anyone from reading this book. These are only my opinions, after all.

I can honestly say that I’m very happy this is the first book in a series because I truly hope to get more answers in an upcoming book. I did appreciate the ending of this story and the author did a good job with Took and Madoc’s love story.

 

 

 

 

DISCLAIMER: Books reviewed on this site were usually provided at no cost by the publisher or author. This book has been provided by Dreamspinner Press for the purpose of a review.

Additional Information

Format ebook and print
Length Novel, 260 pages/96995 words
Heat Level
Publication Date 10-September-2019
Price $6.99 ebook, $16.99 paperback, $16.99 bundle
Buy Link https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/dead-man-stalking-by-ta-moore-10765-b