The Vampire Agent
by Patricia Rosemoor & Marc Paoletti
Cover Artist: Chris McGrath
Review by Harriet Klausner
Del Rey Mass Market Paperback ISBN/ITEM#: 9780345501059
Date: 30 December 2008 List Price $6.99 Amazon US / Amazon UK / Show Official Info /
He was a mummy buried in a New Mexico cave when the witch and the anthropologist found him and brought him back to undead life. Malevolent vampire Andre Espinoza caused destruction and death in Texas as well as New Mexico until Special Ops Captain Scott Boulder, his Ultra Tam unit and anthropologist Leah Maguire sent the evil one into another spatial dimension (see The Last Vampire). However, Scott knows the vampire infected him so fearing his new super powers that come with the contamination, the military officer remains locked up to insure he does not harm people; no one including Scott knows how much humanity he lost when Espinoza took him. Meanwhile black ops research scientist Darryl Adams is seeking a cure for his brother in arms.
However at the same time just outside New Orleans at the top secret Meischer Labs, the scientists experimenting on people there are concerned with one of their test subjects Rachel Ackart who seems to be going insane as she currently only recites her name repetitiously. Espinoza from the beyond senses he has a portal to return to the earth in Rachel. He works her mind to insure he comes back. His plan is simple once she abets his return. First he will use the still reeling, though five years have past since Katrina, New Orleans as a source of regaining his strength. He will not underestimate his opponents by rushing things this time. Once he is fully back he will destroy the duet who sent him into exile as he knows he has a blood relationship with one of them.
The sequel to the superb urban fantasy The Last Vampire is an action-packed thriller that initially focuses on the aftermath of the previous battle with the villain. Especially fascinating is the hero from the first novel as Scott fears he is no longer human, but by volunteering for lock-up, he proves very human as he struggles to make sure the growing beast inside does not harm his species--he thinks of humans in terms as his former species. He fears the infection and does not want to harm his brothers in arms or the anthropologist who somehow saved his soul at least for now.
Leah has come a long way from the hermit who was more comfortable with cave creatures than people. She is half in love with Scott although she tries to hide her feelings as she fears his are only gratitude. He hides his deepest regard and desire for his vampire hunting partner.
Espinoza is even more evil than before as he manipulates Rachel like a dead puppet in order to expedite his coming back. His plot is better designed as he was unprepared for the dynamic duo to counter his assaults because his attitude is humans are much lower on the food chain.
The story line is fast-paced from the onset and New Orleans is a city under siege with military aircraft everywhere. Readers will relish this excellent collaboration as the anticipation of round two between Leah and Scott on one side and Espinoza on the other grips the audience; especially since Scott is the wild card in the conflict for if he turns, hell on earth seems imminent.