In this supernatural thriller, a killer uses ages-old dark magic to stalk young women with stealth and cunning—so much so that the police have no idea just how many young women have died in the French countryside.
As the book begins, Inspector Alexandre Vauvert (of Toulouse) is joined by Inspector Eva Svärta in the hunt for the Salaville brothers, two particularly vicious serial killers. Vauvert is intrigued by Svärta, with her white-blond hair and her red eyes—unusual even for an albino—and with her skill as an investigator. From the beginning, he senses a kinship with her: He knew how to spot real cops. Eva Svärta was one of them. A predator hunting predators. When the case is closed after the brothers are killed in a standoff with the police and Inspector Svärta returns to Paris, Vauvert is unable to get her out of his thoughts, even though he knows it is unlikely they will work together again. But then a year later, the murders begin again. And once again they are linked to the Salaville brothers—which is utterly impossible.
Of Fever and Blood has a Stephen King or X-Files feel to it, with that same combination of horror and the supernatural in a world where police tend to look to human perpetrators for the answers. While I found the characters interesting, particularly Inspector Svärta with her mysterious background and her nighttime visions of a white-blond wraith, this is very much a plot-driven novel. The action is fast and furious; with the viewpoint shifting between the murder, the victims, and the investigators, there’s a sense of urgency in almost every scene. The descriptions of blood are quite graphic, and although they’re essential to the story that’s being told, they could be distressing for a lot of readers. If you don’t like scenes of torture, this is not the book for you.
The translation is a bit rough in places, but not enough to be distracting from a pretty good thriller. There is a sequel—The First Blood—and I’m just intrigued enough by this book that I will likely check out that one as well.
This book was furnished by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
My rating: 3 stars