Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
Once again I found myself choosing a book for all the wrong reasons: I love the Simon and Garfunkel song. And I like this author, so I picked the book without even reading the blurb. When I started reading, and found out it was about vampires, my first response was ugh. I really don’t like vampire books, why did I choose this???
Detective Brady Lindstrom is the quintessential workaholic cop. He never takes a day off, has no life outside of his cases, and doesn’t even seem to want one. He has no friends, no lovers, few possessions, and life outside of work is mainly working out until he drops. He works homicide, and has dealt with some of the most horrific cases in the Bay area, but his single-minded devotion to the job means he is usually successful in bringing criminals to justice. The case he’s investigating now, however, is much worse than anything he’s ever seen before – 12 frat boys slaughtered, found with their throats and hearts ripped from their bodies.
When he goes home from the murder scene, he’s in his usual routine of running on his treadmill until he’s exhausted enough to sleep, because he has a good idea of what committed the murders, even if he doesn’t know who. When someone knocks at his door just before dawn, he is not as surprised as he should be to find his ex-lover, Cole Singer at the door. Cole, who died 10 years ago.
Despite his deep distrust of vampires, and Cole in particular, he needs Cole to help solve this murder and kill the vampires who did it. He’s the only one on the force who is aware of vampires’ existence, so he’s on his own. Cole is severely injured, and needs Brady’s protection and help, so the two forge an uneasy truce in order to track down the killers.
Two things frustrated me about the story: the first is that the author seems to assume that her readers know all the powers of the vampires in this book. There is some explanation, but it was a little inconsistent – the superhuman strength and speed, the heightened senses, the rapid healing are traits I’ve come to know from other books, but what was with the hearts being cut out from bodies? Was that another thing that vampires do? Cole is no longer killing people, but he does go to “blood bars” where he can partially bleed men who get off on that. It wasn’t really clear how that worked. And what was the deal with his fangs during sex? The second issue is the almost complete lack of background. Why and how did Cole become a vampire? Was it an act of malice or a random accident? How did Brady come to know about it? Cole apparently almost killed Brady shortly after his change, but was that what made Brady hate Cole? Or something else? Although the main plot arc was finding and killing the vampires responsible for the murder, the secondary arc was clearly the changing and developing relationship between the two men, and it was much harder for me to follow it without knowing what happened before.
I thought it was kind of funny that Brady brought home human blood a few times for Cole. Like that is something you can just pick up at the grocery store. Really? Another pet peeve for me was how the author kept describing how Brady’s tongue would be cut just about every time they kissed, and I was thinking this poor guy shouldn’t have been able to talk or eat solid food by the time the story ended.
But despite all of those things I didn’t like about the story, in the end I did like the relationship arc between the two men, enough that I was able to give the book 3 stars. It won’t be a reread for me though.
Cover Art by Ginny Glass captures the two MCs perfectly
Kindle Edition, 2nd Edition, 112 pages
Published October 17th 2016 by Loose Id LLC (first published 2008)
Original TitleBridge Over Troubled Water
CharactersBrady Lindstrom, Cole Singer settingUnited States