Tanya Huff:Blood Pact

Well, it looks like Tanya Huff solved the problem with her Vicki Nelson series: How long could she plausibly keep introducing a new horror-movie monster with every book? This book has an ending that strikes me as final, or at the very least signaling a radical change in how future books would go.

The creature feature of this book seems to be zombies--but despite the title, they are in no way supernatural. Rather, they are the products of a scientific experiment in life after death--a secret, unauthorized one, taking place at a Toronto University.

Background: Vicki Nelson is an ex-cop, forced to leave the force because of progressively deteriorating vision. She formed a P.I. agency, along with a vampire and romance writer named Henry Fitzroy. Her former police partner (and still cop)Mike Celluci is also often involved, and the three of them form a delightful lovers' triangle.

Vicki gets involved when her mother dies, and the scientist in charge of the research spirits away the body, which is in prime condition for their purposes. But the deceit is discovered at the funeral, and the three of them start hunting down the body. Meanwhile, the experimental subjects are indeed improving...and they occasionally get free...

The lovers' triangle, which has been building for the past three books, comes to a head, several times in fact, in this book. (The final resolution is a bit surprising, mind you...) That, and Vicki's grief over her mother, show that Huff's ability to handle depth of character is still improving. Whatever she may turn her hand to next, her improvement over this series will no doubt make it well worth reading.

%A Huff, Tanya
%T Blood Pact
%I Daw
%C New York
%D November 1993
%G ISBN 0-88677-582-5
%P 332 pp.
%S Victory Nelson, Investigator
%V Book 4
%O Paperback, US$4.99, Can$5.99

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The Den of Ubiquity / Aaron V. Humphrey / alfvaen@gmail.com