Author: Francis Gideon
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Rating: 3 stars
Type: Novel in a Series
Received from Publisher
Blurb: In a world where monsters are known to—and despised by—humanity, vampire Chaz Solomon hides in plain sight as a detective on the Toronto police force. But freedom from prejudice does nothing to alleviate his guilt over the lover he betrayed to gain his label of “normal.” He spends his days living a lie and his nights in a brothel, seeking company and black-market blood.
When a serial killer preying on both vampires and sex workers leads Chaz and his department on a twisted chase through New Canadiana’s supernatural underground, one of the brothel employees, Sully, becomes the only person Chaz can trust. There’s much more to Sully than a pretty face, and he’s slowly breaching the walls around Chaz’s heart with his intelligence and kind nature.
But as the body count rises and conspiracies come to light, the past Chaz has been trying to escape comes rushing back. Sully might accept Chaz as a vampire, but will he forgive Chaz’s other deceptions? And what will become of Chaz’s life if his secret is revealed? Before he can worry about a future with Sully, he’ll have to find the vengeful murderer threatening everything he cares about.
Review: Black Market Blood is the second book in this series. It follows a new couple with some cameos of the characters in book one. It can probably be read as a stand alone. You’d just be missing some back story. The world created has all manors of magical paranormal creatures. Vampires, werewolves, elementals, witches and fairies. This is totally up my ally. I liked the first book. This one took me forever to read. I love a good long story but this one felt overly long. Just like the first book parts of the story crawled and it feels convoluted. There’s tons of angst between the MCs. The characters were fine and I liked them as a couple. A little cutesy and needy at times but likable. Both MCs have painful pasts. If you read the first book you’ll remember Chaz was Nat’s ex. This is his story.
The book starts off with Chaz getting a new case and a new partner. Someone is killing young “monster” as they’re referred to in this world. Chaz has a secret though. He’s a vampire. Part of his deal for betraying Nat was obtaining papers stating he was a normal human. That’s the only reason he’s a Detective. Chaz goes to a brothel specializing in “monsters” for companionship and blood. It’s here he meets Sully the human. Sully has been a sex working since his parents sold him. Now it’s a reality he has control over. A few meetings with Chaz and the guys become smitten with each other. Chaz drags Sully into his case which involves sex trafficking rings. With their complicated past, secrets and dead vampires and sex worker piling up things get difficult fast.
Most of this book relies on the social injustice “monsters” face. Monsters haven’t been known entities for long. Nobody will care if one of them is murdered. They are seen as less than humans. This means they’re at the mercy of anyone and everyone. There’s a ton of prejudice revolving around monsters. An entire underground movement to traffic them which leads to another trying save them. I did find this pretty interesting. In the end they all the good guys want to fight for the rights of all beings. For the most part the murder mystery was pretty good. Until the last third of the book. I guessed fairly early who the bad guy was. There are a few leaping leads about possible suspects but you can tell it’s not going anywhere. Then when it’s glaringly obvious who the killer is they arrest a guy they have proof couldn’t have killed most of the victims. All because he’s a vampire. This was a disaster. Talk about forcing a plot action. It made no sense. This is where this book went bad for me. Then when they finally realize who the killer is it’s super dramatic and over the top. Up until this point the killer has supposedly been brilliant and cunning. Then he just becomes unhinged and risk his exposure.
This book obviously wasn’t for me. Some people might like it. There are a lot of things to like but the problems outweighed them all unfortunately. I had many plot issues in regards to the murder mystery. Lots of things set up that never went anywhere. It wasn’t just the ending. The world building is complex and interesting which may make this more frustrating for me personally. I wanted to love this. The sex ring stuff is pretty depressing but things are looking up for the “monsters” finally. The relationship had it’s moments but the guys were kind of a mess and the miscommunication at the end pushed me over the edge. Can’t say I loved this one sadly.