Graveyard Shift by Michael Haspil
In order to stand out in the crowded urban fantasy field, you have to bring something new to the table. Michael Haspil does exactly that in Graveyard Shift. The book focuses on a pair of vice cops, Alex and Marcus. Except the vice is vampires and Alex is a pharaoh turned cop and his partner Marcus is a vampire himself. Both are former members of UMBRA, a government organization tasked with hunting down vampires until the Reveal. The Reveal followed development of synthetic blood, Hemo-Synth, which allowed vampires to come out of the shadows and take their place alongside humans. UMBRA dissolved and now Alex and Marcus are part of Miami’s Nocturn Affairs unit, charged with investigating vampire involved crime.
Hemo-Synth is the only thing that allows the fragile peace between vampires and humans. A spate of incidents involving contaminated Hemo-Synth that sends vampires into a blood frenzy that sets the city on edge and strains the ability of the police to respond. Alex and Marcus are tasked with solving the mystery which involves ancient vampires, shapeshifters and a conspiracy that threatens to plunge the world into chaos.
Haspil wastes no time in drawing you into his world. He starts you off in the middle of an investigation and with a little time spent explaining the rules of this world, the action takes off. He creates a mystery with layers upon layers and fast-paced action that starts early and continues throughout the story. It builds to a crescendo that bursts with action, violence, explosions and a body count that would make George R.R. Martin blush.
Haspil delivers a good mystery with a lot of moving pieces and characters with different agendas and histories. Character backstory and development is dropped in a snippet at a time throughout the story. You don’t know a whole lot more about the characters at the end of the story than you did at the beginning. What you do get is an interesting cast, a top-notch mystery, and an urban fantasy that reads like a thriller. The ending sets up the possibility of future stories. I’m looking forward to learning more about these interesting characters. Bring on the next book! Highly recommended.
I was fortunate to receive an advance copy of this book from the publisher.
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