As obsession and loss become dark partners, how far must the people of Abbey Hills go to survive?
Six months ago, brutal murders shook the small Ozark town—murders that stopped after a house fire reportedly claimed the killer’s life. Lauryn McBride's family auction house has taken responsibility for the estate sale of one of the victims—the enigmatic Markus Chisom. Submerging herself in Chisom’s beautiful but strange world, Lauryn welcomes the reprieve from watching Alzheimer’s steal her father from her, piece by piece. She soon realizes that centuries-old secrets tie Abbey Hills to the Chisom estate and a mysterious evil will do anything to make sure those secrets stay hidden. Even the man who grew up loving her may not be able to protect Lauryn from the danger.
When Amede Dastillon receives an unexpected package from Abbey Hills, she hopes it might be the key in tracking down her beloved sister, long estranged from her family. Visiting Abbey Hills seems the logical next step in her search, but Amede is unusually affected by the town, and when mutilated carcasses begin turning up again in the small community, the local law enforcement isn’t sure if they are confronting a familiar evil or a new terror.
Two women brought together by questions that seem to have no answers. Can they overcome the loss and darkness threatening to devour them—or will their own demons condemn them to an emotional wasteland?
My take on this book:
Amede Dastillon is a centuries old vampire living in New Orleans. She has been searching for her sister Eden, whom she has been estranged from for quite some time, so when she receives a package from Lauren McBride that contains family letters, and these letters were found in the estate of a man who was murdered six months prior, Amede is hopeful that she just might find her sister in Abbey Hills.
When Amede and her assistant Juliette take a trip to the town in hopes of locating Eden the killings start happening again, first with the slaying of animals, that quickly escalate to humans. The town is on edge and rightly so. Will the townspeople finally come to realize that what Miranda, a web reporter has been saying might be true, that there are vampires among them, and the vampires are responsible for the killings!
A real page turner from the start, Ms. Bateman puts a whole different spin on how these vampires were created, reading about Amede's father and the choice he ultimately made really influenced the person that Amede became. Amede led a very sedate life while her sister chose a different path.
I found the main character Lauren very easy to relate to and could easily understand how she felt responsible for her father who was suffering from Alzheimer's, watching him progressively get worse, while trying to run the family business and take care of the bills, so when her former boyfriend shows up you really hope that it might get a bit easier for her.
Even though this is the second book in a series it can easily be read as a stand alone story because the author does a thorough job of filling in enough of the back story so that we don't feel lost. An excellent story with memorable characters, and a writing style that draws you in, along with an unexpected ending, I only hope the author does another book with these characters because I would love to read more about these vampires and find out what happens between Lauren and Billy.
Reviewed for Reader's Favorite