by Chastity Bush, fantasy (2011)
Liquid Silver Books, $5.75, ISBN 978-1-59578-858-0
Killer Kisses features an Immortal Detective - our vampire hero Alex Monroe. Now, let's not be childish and crack those predictable jokes about immortal dicks, please. He is on a serious business - someone is murdering women in the fair city of... hmm, the city isn't named, come to think of it. Maybe it's a top secret city. Anyway, our heroine Tina James is going to be next if Alex doesn't do that immortal detective thing ASAP.
The thing is, Alex comes off as a terrible reader of person. Here's an early scene in this book, taken place after Alex encounters Tina who has just been mugged.
“Let me give you a ride.”
“I'm sorry, but I don't think so.” She laughed cynically.
Suppressing a groan, Alex watched as she propped her hands on her wonderfully curved hips. “Because, I've already been mugged tonight and I don't wish to add raped and murdered to the list.”
Alex couldn't contain the laughter that burst from his lips.
She's witty, too.
“What’s so funny?” she snapped irritably.
What's so witty about that exchange again? Let's just say that Tina isn't the only one wondering what he found so laugh out loud funny. When Tina later demands to see his ID, he is surprised because he can't understand why she wants to see his ID. This is after she's told him that she'd been mugged after stepping out of the store. Clearly, being 500 does funny things to one's sanity.
Oh, and did I mention that the killer is called the Monthly Murderer? Now that makes me laugh.
The author has some good ideas and there are some genuinely funny moments here and there, but for the most part, Killer Kisses is riddled with head-scratching scenes such as the one I've shown earlier. The characters do bewildering things that are out of character or make little sense in context - for a supposedly good Immortal Detective, Alex often comes off as a bungling amateur who can't see the obvious. There are many moments when an author describes a scene in a manner that isn't reflected in what is actually taking place in that scene. The above scene where Alex finds humor in something that is not even "witty" is just one of the many examples of this.
Killer Kisses feels really rough and unpolished at the end of the day. It's not the most coherent story around thanks to its many technical problems. If the author can sort out these technical issues, perhaps the end result may be worth a closer look. But that will be for another day. I'm just going to put aside this thing and look for something else to read.
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