The Girls With Games of Blood (Memphis Vampires #2) by Alex Bledsoe
Memphis Vampires Series
Listen to what I tell you,son,every word is true The sisters haunt the night,and might fight over you Nothing can steal your soul and stamp it in the mud Like being the new play-pretty for the girls with the games of blood . . .
The old song warns of the beautiful Bolade sisters,Patience and Prudence,whose undying rivalry was said to stretch even beyond the grave. But Count Rudolfo Vladimir Zginski has never heard the song. A suave Continental vampire,staked to death more than sixty years ago,he has risen to stalk the Southern nights of Memphis,Tennessee,circa 1975. Although new to the modern world,he has quickly developed a taste for its hot blood,willing women,and high-speed automobiles.
Yet the seventies are not without their perils,even for so cunning and ruthless a predator. Zginski’s insistent pursuit of a cherry 1973 Mach 1 Ford Mustang soon brings him into conflict with a legendary redneck sheriff with a short temper and a big baseball bat. His dangerous fascination with an enticing undead chanteuse and her equally seductive sister,threatens not only his own ageless existence,but that of the small group of modern-day vampires he has grudgingly taken under his wing. Zginski has already escaped limbo once,but can he free himself from the tangled web of the girls who play games of blood?
A creature I love to hate, Rudy Zginski, former count, current vamp, is back in The Girls With Games of Blood, and this time, his object of desire is a 1973 Mach 1 Mustang. He sees the car in a movie and must have it, so when he finally tracks one down, he go to any lengths to get it. What he doesn’t count on is former sheriff and dubious “movie star” Byron Cocker, is after the same car, and isn’t about to let this foreigner take it from him. Meanwhile, sweet vampire Fauvette, forever stuck in the body of a 14 year old (but almost 50 years old), and haunted my the memory of her turning, tends bar and pines for Zginski, who saved her and her friends from an animalistic life of death and bloodshed, and showed them that being vampire does not have to be a miserable existence as well. When Patience Bolade, a dark haired vixen with pipes that will put you under her spell, blows into town and lands a gig at Fauvette’s bar, she gives Fauvette hope that maybe there are more ways then one for a vampire to feed, but also turns the head of Count Zginski, who’s feelings for Fauvette may be turning out to be more than he bargained for. What no one knows, however, is that Patience’s sister Prudence is also nearby, and she’s nursing a grudge that can only be satisfied with flesh…and blood.
I love this series, and was just as entertained by “Girls With Games” as I was by Blood Groove. Alex Bledsoe creates vampire stories that are violent, strange, yet also very human in their nature. These vamps are motivated by exactly the same things that humans are, yet are compelled to act out their vengeance in very different ways. Zginski softens up just a bit in this one, however, don’t expect a complete turnaround. His racism and sexism are still on display at times, but the kindness that he shows his thrall, a woman dying of cancer, and his growing tenderness for Fauvette, definitely shows a softer side of Mister Z. He is “other” though, through and through, and will not hesitate to enact vengeance on those he feels have wronged him. I also like how Bledsoe’s vamps, while pretty cold and calculating (with the exception of the yearning Fauvette), sometimes let little slivers of humanity through. The cracks are small, but they are there, and it really adds an element to the novels that I enjoy. These Southern vamps are not your momma’s sparklers, and if you like your horror stories dark, gritty, and with plenty of Memphis spice, this series is for you. Buckle up, you’re in for a wild ride!