Sunday, March 14, 2010

Vampyres of Hollywood

Vampyres of Hollywood
by Adrienne Barbeau and Michael Scott

Hollywood, California: three gruesome deaths within two weeks and every one of them a major star - an Oscar winner, an ingenue, and an action hero. A serial killer is working through the Hollywood A-list and celebrities are running scared.
Each crime scene is worthy of a classic horror movie, and all three victims share a connection to the powerful scream queen, Ovsanna Moore. The stunning and formidable Moore is the legendary head of a Hollywood studio, as well as the writer and star of seventeen blockbuster horror films (and a few that went straight to DVD).
She's also a 500 year old vampyre... but this is Hollywood after all, and no one ever looks their age.
Beverly Hills Police Detective Peter King knows a lot about the City of Angels, but he certainly doesn't know that most of the famous actors in town are actually an established network of vampires. Or that secretive and seductive Ovsanna Moore happens to be their CEO.
Moore and King may be from opposite sides of the Hollywood Hills, but both have something to gain by stopping the killer who the tabloids have dubbed the Cinema Slayer. Ovsanna must protect her vampire legacy and her production schedule, while King just wants to keep his Beverly Hills beat as blood-free as possible. But when the horror queen and the cop with the movie star looks form an unholy alliance, sparks fly and so do the creatures of the night.

Vampyres of Hollywood showed up this week courtesy of BookMooch, a book trading site. Because its a "light" book, it got read right away (like most of the "light" or "fluffy" books that have come through our door lately).

A paranormal mystery set in the glamorous and tawdry world of Hollywood, Vampyres of Hollywood is both funny and gory. I'm not sure the authors' take on vampires is particularly novel (different types of vampires with different kinds of skills, vampires that change as they age, a society full of rules and complex power structures), but I enjoyed the idea of real vampires as the creators of vampire mythology and how the authors made connections with famous and historical personages (though there may be a bit too much name-dropping).

The narrative flip-flops between Ovsanna and Detective King and that change of perspective with each chapter is what propels the narrative along. That being said, Vampyres of Hollywood isn't so much of a page-turner that I had to stay up late to finish it. I didn't find the novel compelling. The writing isn't that great, it's finale tied things up too quickly, and the romance seemed tacked on at the end. Lackluster, in a word.

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