Jackie Rutledge has seen her share of supernatural killers. But her latest murder case is what recurring nightmares are made of. Brutally exsanguinated human victims, vanishing-into-the-ether evidence, and a city on the edge of panic mean that she and her psychic partner, Laurel, are going to need more than just backup …
So Jackie is fine with any help rugged P.I. Nick Anderson can give—even if that includes the impish ghost and sexy vampire who make up his team. But Nick is hiding secrets of his own. And Jackie’s investigation has plunged them both into a vengeful game reaching back centuries—and up against a malevolent force hungry for more than just victory…
AH’s Review – 3 Skulls – C+
Deadworld started off slowly for me and had this book not been part of a reading challenge, I may have abandoned it. In a way, I’m glad that I made it through – the last third of the book made up for the beginning.
Deadworld is the story of FBI agent Jackie Rutledge. Jackie and her partner Laurel investigate a grisly murder scene. Laurel senses that something is off about the murder scene. Laurel fears for Jackie’s life and begs her not to take on the case. Her fears are well founded – vampires are involved.
It was very difficult for me to feel any kind of empathy towards Jackie. Jackie was an emotional wreck throughout most of the book, a loose cannon. Her impulsivity and disregard for self-preservation, along with her ongoing drinking problems made her irritating. Jackie’s lack of self-worth and her inability to have any kind of meaningful relationship while sober made her difficult to deal with. Her troubled past contributed to her personality. Jackie feared becoming her mother, a woman in an abusive relationship. I just wish the author added some little thing to make the reader like her more.
I think what made this an OK read for me was Nick and the other supporting characters. I liked Nick. In a way, he was the antithesis of Jackie even though he had his own dark and troubled past and a very real threat in the present. Nick is the prime suspect in the case until it becomes apparent that he and his partner Shelby are the only ones strong enough to fight and defeat Cornelius Drake.
Nick is the head of Special Investigations Inc., and investigates ghosts. He also owns Bloodwork Industries, a company that makes synthetic blood. Nick is one of those “vegetarian” vampires we see so much of in the vampire books today. While human blood makes him powerful, he chooses to drink synthetic blood because of his morals.
The villain in this book was so deliciously wicked. Cornelius Drake was a vampire on a mission, a serial killer, over the top evil. Drake is out for revenge and does everything in his power to goad Nick over and over again.
For me, the saving grace of this book was the last third. Wow. What excitement and action. Car wrecks, fires, vampire magic, crossing into Deadworld, the works. There’s a car chase through the streets of Chicago in a purple Porsche. The scenes in Deadworld were fascinating. We finally get to see how Cornelius became so powerful.
Looking back at my notes as I was reading this book, I was surprised at how many times I wrote that I didn’t like Jackie. I’m glad that I kept reading, but even at the end I still didn’t like her. Will I read the sequels? Most likely. I am curious to see if there is any change in Jackie. I have seen some favorable reviews.
Series Reading Order:
- The Vengeful Dead
- The Lingering Dead
*This book was read as part of the Self Challenge – Taking Down the Freebie Pile on the SOS group on Goodreads. A lot of us download free books and well, they sit on the ereader or computer for a while. Our goal is to read as many of the free books as possible. You can join this challenge on Goodreads here.
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