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Summer Girl by Kelly Vero
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Summer Girl

by Kelly Vero

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Crime fiction with a vampire as the central protagonist, set on the island of Malta. If this sounds like your ... err cuppa ... give it a try.

Jack Sant is a Knight of Malta, a sort of consultant detective keen to solve the country's worst cold cases, and a vampire.

A scenario that is greatly assisted by this author's style of laying it on the line as part of the story progression - so as a woman is attacked late at night, and rescued, the backgrounds of both attackers and rescuer just fall into place. No big deal is made of the vampire aspects, as is no particular big deal made of the attacker's fate. From there on the connections between these unlikely events and people fall into place in much the same manner, as does their connection to Sant's cold case interest.

Along the way there are some slight twists on the better known aspects of vampire lifestyle, including how to handle food at dinner parties, and a slightly weird thing that goes on with Sant hypnotising people to forget any revelations he chooses to make. (Both of these things may not be that unusual but for somebody who is particularly uneducated in the ways of vampires, they came as mild surprises).

It's a very short novel and there seems to be a lot of character and build up with a bit of plot rushing along the way, although the use of the noir, first-person style might have contributed to that perception as well. There's a lot of Sant's interest in the case that just has to be accepted, quite a few of the connections that he uses to investigate that just have to be rolled with and some slightly odd scenes in which you just have to assume that Sant is sensing the happenings. Add to that quite a lot of Maltese words / phrases scattered throughout that turned out to be surprising hard to glean - so the links to a definitions were actually required and it was possible to feel a little disconnected at points.

Having said all of that, vampire crime fiction isn't a particular area of expertise and this reader could very well have missed some elements whilst simply trying to get a handle on the overall concept. The shortness of what's an opening salvo in an intended series certainly lets readers get a taste of what they were in for with Jack Sant and if you're into this style of fiction then it feels like this would be a very good series to get started with now.

https://www.austcrimefiction.org/review/review-summer-girl-kelly-vero ( )
  austcrimefiction | Feb 22, 2016 |
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