Blood Vice by Keith Melton
Series: Nightfall Syndicate #1
Source: Personal shelf
Excerpt: Yes (click on Excerpt tab)
Mafia hit man. Vampire. The criminal underworld just got a whole lot darker.
The Nightfall Syndicate, Book 1
Business has never been better for hit man Karl Vance. Boston is awash in mafia blood, and Vance has a certain fondness for blood. He’s a master vampire—one of the most powerful of his kind. Having sworn to never again feed on the blood of innocents, Karl preys instead on Boston’s criminal underworld. Which makes him a valuable asset to those who deal in death.
Maria Ricardi intends to use that asset to its full extent in order to gain power within her patriarchal crime family. Vance thinks he’s been hired to keep track of the family’s princess, but she’s got a plan to get her hands dirty and earn the respect she deserves. And she’s not above using their instant attraction to get what she wants.
That driving ambition draws the attention of a rival clan’s newest and most dangerous “consultant.” Alejandro Delgado, Vance’s centuries-old nemesis. Delgado zeroes in on the one chink in Vance’s armor—his fondness for the headstrong Maria.
When she becomes enslaved by Delgado’s unnatural kiss, only one thing is certain. Vance has to decide which he wants more. To settle the score—or rescue her soul.
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There was a 50% off sale on Kobo recently so I thought I would give a few new authors a try. One of them was Keith Melton and his mafia vampire hitman. Generally, I wasn’t impressed.
In the spirit of full disclosure, I have to confess that I was a little skeptical when I read the blurb so perhaps I was predisposed not to enjoy BLOOD VICE. But I was intrigued enough to purchase it and I did hope it would be more exciting than the cover copy suggested, since I thought the premise was rather interesting. Vampire hitman makes a lot of sense as a career path since the vampires in Melton’s world have some unique talents but I didn’t feel like the idea was explored to its full potential. As a result, while there are some nice elements to this novel, I don’t think I can recommend it. Here’s why:
Maria is incredibly unlikeable. I couldn’t stand her. She gets better over time but I didn’t see her appeal. I understood her ambition but I found her to be extremely unsympathetic. I can appreciate a good anti-hero(ine) but Maria was just irritating. Karl was a bit better — I thought it was neat that he still prayed even though holy objects hurt him — but we didn’t see very much about this side of his character, which was a bit of a letdown since a religious vampire is something that I would love to read more about. My favourite character was actually Xeisha, Karl’s companion. She was awesome. I would read a book about her in a heartbeat. I would also read a book about the Order of the Thorn who are the supernatural police/crusader-types. They were supporting characters but ones that I found far more fascinating than the main pair.
Another negative: there were few surprises. The cover copy gives it all away. This is not the author’s fault — it’s a publisher thing — but I wasn’t really into it. I love it when a story can keep me on my toes and I didn’t have that experience with BLOOD VICE. It was predictable in most ways and the elements that I was intrigued by weren’t as well developed as I would have liked.
To sum up: BLOOD VICE is okay. I wouldn’t recommend it and I won’t be continuing with the series but it must appeal to some readers since there is a second book out in the Nightfall Syndicate series, if I’m not mistaken. I do think that Melton has some interesting ideas and I may try his other series from Samhain, which starts with THE ZERO DOG WAR.