(hb; 2002: fifth novel in the Sonja Blue series)
From the inside flap:
"Sonja Blue - known to vampires like herself and other inhuman Pretenders as the 'Blue Woman' - has gained quite a reputation. To avenge herself on the monster who turned her into the walking undead. Sonja haunts the shadows of the world's greatest cities to rid them of the vampires that stalk the unsuspecting human race. But she can never escape her truest enemy: the Other, the vile demon who has shared her mind since she was transformed twenty years ago.
"Sonja Blue knows what it's like to have loved and lost - those she loves are definitely lost - so she has grown accustomed to a hard and lonely life. Until she meets 'Harker,' a vampire hunter with an impressive list of kills. Harker's real name is Jack Estes, and as Sonja soon learns, he's lost everything - his parents, his childhood, and his life - to a thousand-year old, vicious vampire who might just have the darkest heart of all. Though she can't quite explain why, Sonja agrees to take Jack on as her apprentice. Now, as the pair hunt down this savage predator, murder and mayhem are the only things she can truly count on."
Darkest Heart, like its predecessor novels, is a blast-through read: lots of blood and action, with squick-effective elements, and writing that builds on - adds new twists to - its characters and their histories, as well as its storylines.
This novel is an excellent addition to this horror-with-a-capital-H, often-surprising series, which deftly sidesteps the usual undead tropes, and brings something fresh and exciting to the abbatoir.
Worth owning, this.
Followed by Dead Roses for a Blue Lady.