After a 911 call from a young boy, Parker, claiming their neighbour Mr Purdy has a vampire living there, Marguerite and Julius Notte, along with Santo, Zaniplo and Bricker are sent by Mortimer to investigate. Parker’s parents – The Peters, yes – are away and he’s being looked after by his aunt Petronella (Pet) who is mixed race? The Italians pop round to introduce themselves to Pet and Marguerite is convinced that ‘Parker wouldn’t make crank calls, it was enough to at least warrant looking into the situation.’Santo wonders why they’ve all come along and set up a base instead of just rushing in to investigate a rogue immortal.It’s then he’s told, Purdy is a second cousin to Dr. Dressler, the Dr Dressler who held him and his cousin captive quite a few books ago, torturing Santo in particular, leaving him with PTSD.
Santo’s reaction to the news is the beginnings of a panic attack; and with good reason.Thankfully though, after meeting Zanipolo’s mate in Punta Cana in the previous book, Santo is undergoing counselling and his reaction is much calmer. What he doesn’t realise however, is Marguerite has other reasons for wanting him there. Something to do with the petite aunt next door. Marguerite makes sure to let Pet know they are not connected to the Brass Circle. A set of vampires based in China with gold/brass coloured sparks in their eyes rather than the Argeneau silver. I hope we get more of these vampires.I Started this today – 7 May – and it’s everything I enjoy and look forward to from Lynsay Sands. Santo, through his age plus hiding what he is, and the trauma experienced, comes across a little like Brainy in ‘Supergirl’ S4 for those who know the character. Pretty clueless when it comes to women. His answers to most questions veer from ‘is’ to ‘non’, so it’s no surprise he has trouble connecting with Pet. So, he pretty much grunts. With young Parker, he could be interpreted as a neurodiverse character, especially in the way he recites facts and research. It’s refreshing to see characters who differ from the assumption of ‘norm’.
I really liked that Sands is branching out and examining diversity and identity as well as more psychological and emotional issues in this one.For Pet, who has had to have her identity changed, everything has been taken from her, even her name. Never mind, her parents and ancestors. Thanks As always – and I don’t know how she does it – Sands keeps this series fresh and evolving whilst delivering humour, romance, current social issues and an ongoing story arc.Another great book and one of my favourite.