Three and a half stars. Genre-defying--I'd call it urban fantasy, except most people assume that to refer to contemporary time, not 1930s era Chicago. Full credit to Elrod for a very interesting take on both vampires and detective fiction--to take both and set it in the midst of the 30s is unusual and fun. It's book twelve or thirteen in a series about the vampire hero, Jack Fleming. I made a good start in the series some time ago, but am sure I didn't make it up to eleven or twelve. Nonetheless, it gave me a relatively good basis to pick up and mostly understand the action. Apparently it takes place mere moments after the last ended, and as such, frequently refers to events from the prior book. Jack feels enough guilt and lingering trauma over prior events, however, that I was able to keep up through his reminiscences. I don't think it spent much time going over his early life, becoming a vampire and learning the ropes until the last few chapters. It was fast paced and very suitable for an afternoon reading in the sun (the best place to read about vampires, friendly or otherwise). I've always liked Jack Fleming for attempting to be an ethical vampire, and the insight into the time period is fun as well. Elrod does switch narrators, between Jack and a newer vamp Gabe Kroun. It's a technique that often annoys me, but Elrod doesn't abuse it, and the perspective shift adds to the tension of the final conflict, as well as degree of emotion to the dilemma. For those that care, there are a couple of reasonably done sex scenes, which I don't remember in previous editions--since it's been four years since the last book, I wonder if Elrod is feeling pressure to keep up with PNR trends? Still, one is appreciable for character development, and adds tension to plot issues, and both are appropriate within the character and the pacing. Overall, a great book in a very unique series.