Publisher: Signet Eclipse
Source: My collection
Description: Ruining Victoria's homecoming, a vampire stalks the streets of London—during the daylight. Not only is Victoria not able to detect the vampire with her heightened senses, but she's being framed as the prime suspect behind the killings.
Meanwhile, her heart is still divided between the enigmatic Sebastian Vioget and her fellow slayer Max Pesaro. The battle is made even more difficult by the legacy of a vampire's touch—a vampire who left in Victoria's veins boiling blood that forces her to fight evil on two fronts: against the new breed of undead threatening London and against the darkness within herself. (From the back cover.)
Review: This was a big improvement over the story in the last book. We get Victoria's struggles as she fights against turning into a vampire, and Max dealing with the fact he is no longer a Venator, against the back drop of a vampire, or vampires, using a magic potion that allows for daytime movement and hides their presence from Venators. This is a pretty awesome set up, and thankfully the book does not drop the ball.
Well, not most of the time. We still have Victoria's mother and her friends pushing for Victoria to remarry, but at least their presence makes more sense, since Victoria has returned home to London. There's also what seems to be a rather abrupt change to one character that, while reasonably well handled, still bothered me.
I also didn't think the Victoria is being framed for murder subplot really worked. The frame up mostly required her to show up and stumble across the dead bodies shortly before anyone else did and still be there when someone came along. While she is lured in various ways to go looking, there didn't seem to be anything that would prevent the first and third victims being discovered by someone else before Victoria got there. Also, having the investigator asking her about vampires made it rather obvious to me that he was in on it somehow. The plot ultimately peters out after revelations about why the investigator is focused on her, rather than being wrapped up.
I think this is the book in the series I've liked the most, but its flaws kept me from loving it.