A Bite To Remember (Argeneau Family book 5) by Lynsay Sands (book review).

The ‘Argeneau Family’ series of books is like a relay race. The baton of focal character is passed on between the end of one novel and the start of the next. ‘A Bite To Remember’ is the fifth in the series involving the Argeneau family. What makes members different is that they are vampires in a novel way. This time the situation is explained early on.

Their ancestry is Atlantean where they developed nanotechnology and it is these micro-machines that keep the infected in peak condition but require blood to keep functioning. They have some features of traditional vampires, but mostly they behave as humans. Jackie Morrisey is aware of this when she accepts the job as a private investigator looking to a series of incidents involving the business concerns of Vincent Argeneau.

In the fourth book, ‘Tall Dark And Hungry’, Vincent had been introduced as a cousin, an actor visiting New York to take the lead in a production ironically named ‘Dracula, The Musical’. The production failed because of an outbreak of ‘contagious anaemia’ and everyone assumed that Vincent had been biting the cast members. Now we discover that Vincent wasn’t just the lead but owned the production company.

Over the past year or so a number of accidents have befallen cast members of other productions or have resigned from their posts. Bastien, the focal vampire of ‘Tall Dark And Hungry’, has recommended Jackie as the person to solve the mystery. She arrives in Los Angeles with her partner, Tiny, and emotional baggage. She doesn’t trust vampires because of an experience as a teenager. This opinion is confirmed when it becomes clear that whoever is behind Vincent’s troubles must be a vampire and that Vincent and anyone close to him is in grave danger.

Although there is an inevitability as to the outcome of this novel, there is more jeopardy for the characters. It also shows that not all of Lynsay Sands’ vampires are nice and that they suffer from the kinds of failings that ordinary mortals do. It is a book that can be read without reference to the earlier volumes but as the complexity of family tied is increasing the family tree, available on Sands’ website might prove useful.

The book will be enjoyed by those who have devoured other volumes in the series.

Pauline Morgan

July 2019

(pub: Gollancz, 2011. 362 page paperback. Price: £ 9.99 (UK). ISBN: 978-0-575-09952-4)

check out websites: www.orionbooks.co.uk, www.gollancz.com and www.lynsaysands.net/

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