Blood Price by Tanya Huff
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
This is actually a reread for me. I’d read the first three in the series and never finished it. I think the series may not have been fully published by then and that’s why I didn’t finish because I really enjoyed the first three books. Recently, I saw on Netflix that they’d made the books into a television series. I put the DVDs in my queue, but I decided that I wanted to finally read the full series first. I purchased the volumes that I didn’t own yet and am set to read them all.
Happily, I didn’t remember much of the plot of Blood Price when I reread it so I could get drawn into the story. Blood Price was published in 1991, well before the urban paranormal explosion. The books were recommended to me by a B. Dalton employee. (I miss that store.) I’d read Anne Rice, Laurell K. Hamilton, and Suzanne Collins before Tanya Huff. And one thing all of those vampires had in common was an aloofness to humans. They did not rub shoulders with us warm-blood folk. So Huff’s Henry Fitzroy was a breath of fresh air with his romance novel writing, condo, and desire for human connection. There was just enough in flashback to establish his character without weighing him down with too much history, and he just seemed so non-grandiose. He was short for Pete’s sake! So yes, I instantly liked Henry Fitzroy, but it was Vicky “Victory” Nelson, who really grabbed my attention, the fallible, everyday human. Her unwillingness to give up in the face of her mounting blindness made her admirable. She was no superhero, no Anita Blake with her superpower necromancy, far from it. Vicky couldn't walk down a street at night without real concern. Not because something would attack her, but because maybe she'd trip on a curb and seriously hurt herself. And the dreaded phone calls from her mother with their eventual guilt trips were a nice touch.
The mystery itself was actually a little too easy. I don’t want to spoil it for anyone, but the bad guy isn’t that hard to find. Huff does put a lot of it in the killer’s perspective and we get inside his head, but he’s not that complex. I suppose the mystery couldn’t be too complex if Huff wanted to give her characters any time to shine. Several of Fitzroy’s flashbacks were simply for background information about him, not directly involved with the mystery.
I’ll be reading the next in the series soon. I read the first three in the series before stopping, but I have them all now and plan to finish before the end of the year.
On something of a side note, I didn’t realize this until someone in my writing group pointed it out, but Vicky in Scary Mary has the same name as Vicky in the Blood series. I picked Nelson as a last name because it is pretty common in my area. I didn’t remember Victory’s last name was Nelson, too.
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