by Katy Mann
Christa, a shy college student, is interning at a Chicago law firm. One morning, she spots a mysterious stranger across the street from her office. This seemingly casual incident tears Christa from her world and sends her into a terrifying struggle with the remorseless immortal, Mack.
Mack comes from another time and place, not so long ago in years, but very far from Christa’s urban world. Mack came of age in the era of bootlegging, where the strong took what they needed to survive, and he has become interested in Christa.
On a trip to Europe, Christa comes across evidence of the supernatural, which she tries hard to ignore, but on her return she ends up being trapped in a clandestine network where human blood is farmed to satisfy vampire thirst.
Soon she becomes caught in a power struggle between two covens, a fight that threatens her mortal existence and forces her to make choices leading her into a deeper understanding of humanity and her own soul.
This is not a love story.
From Chapter 16, “End of Quarantine”
As we walked down the green concrete hallway, I saw a familiar figure. A tall man with brown hair to his shoulders leaned against the wall. He wasn’t wearing a coat or hat, but I was sure it was the man from Chicago. He had the same confident stance—back against the wall, one knee up, arms folded across his chest.
The stranger must have said something too low for me to hear because Duane hissed and shoved me behind his back, crouching low in front of me, arms stretched out on either side.
“Duane,” the man from Chicago said in a warning tone.
The stranger quickly moved his own body to imitate Duane’s position, and they circled one another until, in an action too fast for my eyes, Duane was left lying on his back on the floor, howling with an inhuman sound, staring at what remained of his left arm.
His forearm, hand still attached, lay on the floor in front of him.
I was stunned to see that no blood came from his arm, only a white substance that frothed a little as it dripped off the end of his stump.
No blood? Where was the blood?
I staggered back, feeling for the wall behind me. My legs were unable to support my weight. I slid down, gasping for breath, overcome with terror.
Instantly, the stranger was standing over me, looking down with a stony expression. As I looked up, I saw that his eyes were bright red.
There’s the blood, I thought before everything went black.
Christa is a young paralegal who suddenly develops a fear of strangers. She has no idea why. She works in a city of strangers. She has never felt such a malevolent force directed at her since spotting a mysterious man, hat pulled over his eyes, watching her. After several days of feeling as though she was actually being watched and feeling the hair stand up on the back of her neck, Christa turns to her boss and friend, Millicent. Shortly after their discussion of her fears, Millicent goes missing. She leaves Christa a cryptic note, quite a bit of cash and a ticket to Paris, a long-desired destination for Christa. She balks, at first, about taking the trip but feels that the key to the mystery is in going, or is it fleeing, to Paris. She enters a quaint bookstore in her explorations of Paris and discovers a very old, leather bound book that speaks about vampires and the legends surrounding one particular family hailing from the area. The bookseller refuses to sell Christa that book. It is for some other buyer and the seller cannot figure out how she came to even see it let alone handle this book.
She has to know why this books seems so important so she steals the book when the shopkeeper goes to the front of the store to assist another customer. The next day she returns the book only to discover the shop has been broken into and the keeper murdered. Could the two events be related? She suddenly feels as though she has to run and leaving everything behind except the book and her purse she just gets out of town. A kind stranger, making her feel safe, offers to help her. Somehow he knows she is in trouble. She foolishly accepts the offer and finds herself captured in a world where her only value is as a food source to the very vampire addressed in the book she stole. It is not the world she expected. They could go outside in the day. There was no hot passion to be found. It was far from romantic.
Where her life goes from here must be read. It is an interesting story and you will enjoy this authors' take on vampires and the life they lead and how it truly is for a victim of their thirst. I found it drew me in and truly enjoyed the turns in this tale. I give Prey four stars and highly recommend it. ~JoEllen
Katy Mann grew up in the Midwest where she attended the University of Chicago. She moved to California with her tabby cat, Gus, in 1995. A life-long reader, she divides her time between the real world, when necessary, and the worlds created in books and her imagination, when possible.
Visit her at: www.KatyMann.com
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