Kirsten Reviews: To Catch a Vampire by Jennifer Harlow
To Catch a Vampire by Jennifer Harlow
F.R.E.A.K.S. Squad Investigations #2
CLASSIFIED: F.R.E.A.K.S. Do Dallas
Alexander, telekinetic special agent, is still adjusting to life among
the F.R.E.A.K.S. while wiping out zombies and other supernatural
threats. When Bea learns about her "special assignment" investigating a
series of human disappearances with Oliver Montrose, her gorgeous but
annoying vampire co-worker, she reluctantly agrees to go undercover.
Disguised as a married couple, they infiltrate the gothic vamp scene in
Dallas. While sniffing out clues, Oliver's convincing public--and not so
public--displays of affection have Bea swooning in her bustier and
fishnets. Between contending with her fake husband's ex-lover Marianna
and feeling guilty for hiding the mission from her werewolf crush Will,
Bea discovers she's not the only F.R.E.A.K. keeping secrets. Clubbing
with the undead turns bloody when Oliver's old enemy, the Lord of
Dallas, decides to seek his revenge. Caught in the crossfire, Bea is up
to her neck in blood-sucking trouble.
To Catch a Vampire by Jennifer Harlow is the sequel to Mind Over Monsters, and is the second book in the F.R.E.A.K.S. Squad Investigation series, and picks up not long after where the previous book ended.
Beatrice Alexander has settled into her role as member of the F.R.E.A.K.S., but there’s a problem that keeps her from really enjoying herself. She can’t talk to anybody outside of the Squad about what she does at work. On top of that, Will, the werewolf that she is attracted to is on vacation. But, since she doesn’t want him to cut his time off short for no reason, she takes on a job concerning the disappearance of several humans. This puts her squarely in contact with the vampire in this love triangle, Oliver, who annoyed Beatrice so much in the last book.
Where the first book saw Beatrice figuring out how to be a member of this team, To Catch a Vampire puts her front and center. Oliver takes on the role of mediator with the vampires, and lets Beatrice do the legwork to try and solve the case. The partnership might have worked smoothly, if there wasn’t the small matter of something from Oliver’s past coming up to interfere.
The trend of vampires using an endearment for their human lovers, or female friends is getting old, and Oliver’s use of ‘Trixie’ as a nickname for Beatrice, as well as ‘my darling’ got old fairly quickly, and he seems even more condescending for using it.
Another aspect of the writing that is hard to take is the fact that Beatrice never seems to truly get scared. When faced with danger, she says things like ‘oh, crud,’ instead of reacting more dramatically. Having a heroine that adjusts to her new role in live is one thing, but when they act as if they are bored by danger, it seems unbelievable. At the same time, Beatrice is still finding the best way to make herself an invaluable part of the team, and so the contrast in attitudes was confusing at times.
The relationship between Oliver, Will, and Beatrice continues to develop, and there’s no doubt that it will continue to be a thread in future books.
In general, the book feels stronger than its predecessor, and with future works, the author will hopefully find the balance between using stereotypical supernatural plot elements, and something with more of the world that is starting to be developed.