by Rita Herron, fantasy (2008)
Grand Central Publishing, $6.99, ISBN 978-0-446-19947-6
Rita Herron's Insatiable Desire is the first book in the series called The Demonborn, but I've gone around doing things upside down where this series is concerned because I read the second book, Dark Hunger, first before tackling this one. Still, the story line here still feels fresh and interesting despite the fact that I'm spoiled on a few major details here. The flaw here isn't in the story line, it is in the execution of the story line. But I'll get to that after giving you the synopsis of the story.
Clarissa King can see ghosts. However, this is not some skill that turns her into a delicate fae sex bomb. Clarissa's mother hanged herself to avoid the constant presence of ghosts (gory ones, with wounds and what not inflicted all over their ghostly forms), and now Clarissa fears that she is going to snap anytime soon and follow her mother's footsteps. In her hometown of Eerie, she is seeing more and more ghosts of recent women who vanished only to show up dead. Clarissa senses that it isn't a mere serial killer running around the place - some great evil is afoot... maybe even demons are involved.
Our hero, FBI agent Vincent Valtrez, left Eerie years ago vowing never to go back, but going back is exactly what he does here as he is assigned to investigate the deaths of two young women in that small town. He and Clarissa share a past of shared misery - they were both outcasts in the town - and now, it looks like Clarissa could very well be a pawn set by a villain to entrap Vincent into - cue dramatic thunder crash here - the path of evil.
As I've said, I love the story and the setting. There are horror elements and there are dead bodies everywhere - I can't be any happier as a result. I also love the heroine, which is quite unusual as it's always the heroines in such stories that get on my nerves, heh. I love Clarissa precisely because she's the opposite of a typical psychic heroine. She's tough, she wants to get things done, and even when the author is throwing all kinds of crap at her, Clarissa still comes off like a survivor and do-gooder instead of a pathetic victim.
It is the hero who is the pathetic loser here. A part of me finds this story interesting in an academic manner because it is the hero's pee-pee for once, instead of the heroine's hoo-hoo, which is the object of everyone's attention here. Not that this is amusing, because Vincent is an utterly ridiculous hero. Dead bodies everywhere? Possible demons on the loose? Whatever - this guy is more obsessed about nailing anything that moves. My favorite is the oh-so-smart move on his part of wanting to stick it to a local who could very well be connected to the investigation. This guy is literally led by his pee-pee into trouble. This guy sleeps with so many skanky women, he is unable to say no even to an obviously demented woman because his pee-pee is overriding his brain... sigh. This guy is so pathetic and dim, it'd be an act of mercy to neuter him or something.
But the most annoying aspect of the story is the constant repetition. Both Vincent and the villain keep repeating the same things every single time they are indulging in overblown interior monologues, so much so that this story becomes truly painful to read every time they start playing the same broken record. Yeah, yeah, the bad guy wants to turn Vincent to the dark side, not that I see the wisdom of the plan because Vincent is as dumb as they come, and the bad guy loves killing women, hee-hee-hee. He can just shut up already after the eighth repetitious rambling. Likewise, Vincent keeps repeating about (a) how he is this soulless bastard who (b) wants to shag Clarissa only that (c) he can't and therefore he's constantly looking for substitutes with a vagina and (d) treating Clarissa like crap because (e) he had a terrible childhood and therefore this is an excuse for him to behave like an obnoxious frat boy with the worst taste in sex partners ever. After the tenth repeat of this soap opera, I can only wish that someone will do me a favor and shove a blow-up doll down Vincent's throat so that this whiny crybaby sex fiend can just be quiet for once. If you ask me to choose between sleeping with Jon Gosselin and sleeping with Vincent Valtrez, I'd choose the first option, because I really find Vincent that repulsive.
Let me just say that it is a good thing I read the second book first, because if I have read this book first, I would have run from this series as if my life is at stake.
This book at Amazon.com
This book at Amazon UK
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