Title: Skim Blood and Savage Verse (Off Beat Crimes #3)
Author: Angel Martinez
Publisher: Pride Publishing
Release Date: April 4, 2017
Page Count: 137
Reviewed by: Kristin
Heat Level: 2 flames out of 5
Rating: 4 stars out of 5
Words damage more than just feelings as Carrington hunts feral books menacing the city.
When a ferocious book attacks Carrington at his own birthday party, he believes it’s an isolated incident. But similar books soon pop up all over town, menacing innocent people with harsh bits of poetry and blank verse that deliver damaging physical blows. It’s a frustrating case with too many variables and not enough answers, and the stakes go up with each attack.
With the help of his misfit squad mates at the 77th and the public library’s Rare Books Department, the missing pieces decrease but not Carrington’s vexations. His commanding officer rakes him over the coals at the beginning of every shift. His police partner has lost patience with what she sees as his delusional relationship choices and his inability to pick the right man in a vast field of two. City Hall demands that the books be stopped immediately. It’s enough to put a nutritionally challenged vampire off his skim blood.
Third in the Offbeat Crimes Series – I do recommend reading the previous books in the series first. They provide the background for the characters and setting.
Where the first two books introduced us to Kyle, Vikash, and the other members in the 77th Precinct, Skim Blood/Savage Verse turns the reader’s attention to Carrington Loveless and his partner Amanda. Carrington is a vampire…albeit one with a few issues, and his incredibly wealthy family isn’t one of them. When attending a birthday party soirée in his honor at the family mansion, Carr is attacked by a word spitting book in the library. The vile mouthed book then shows up again at a newly opened indie bookseller. When the mayor and other public officals are attacked by a swarm of books, Carrington and Amanda go all out to dig to the bottom of the mystery.
I enjoy these books a lot – I love the characters for their diversity (a leather Jacket, a vampire who can tolerate the sun, a wolf who’s now human, a lizard, a crow, and our various humans with dysfunctional paranormal abilities. It’s like the island of mis-fit toys only better. And like any group tossed together, they have their personality quirks.
My two teeny tiny complaints: sometimes their brevity works against the story and I would love to see aspects fleshed out and expanded upon. I find the emotional impact can be truncated due to the 150ish page length. But, if it were longer would it be just as good? Mm…don’t mess with a good thing I guess.
And Carrington’s romance(s) – while I liked seeing a “false start” romance that helped define Carr’s personality, it made the true romance feel rushed. This is where I would have liked to have seen a somewhat longer story.
Angel Martinez’s plots are short, sweet and pack a lot between the pages. I love that I can gobble down her stories in a day or two and go back and enjoy the re-read just as much as the first time through. Off Beat Crimes series is that enjoyable.