Carole Nelson Douglas, Vampire Sunrise

Posted May 29, 2012 by Kathy Davie in

Vampire Sunrise (Delilah Street, Paranormal Investigator, #3)Vampire Sunrise by Carole Nelson Douglas
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Third in the Delilah Street, Paranormal Investigator urban fantasy series set in Las Vegas.

My Take
Why, oh why, does Delilah keep going on about the Brimstone Kiss she shared with Snow?? Nothing happened. Supposedly. So why…are we being tortured over this? So, somehow, the Brimstone Kiss from Snow has evolved into the Resurrection Kiss and it’s that which revived the almost-dead Ric?

Can you say “drama queen”? Douglas writes this entire story at such extremes of the dramatic angle, it makes me want to barf. Ooh, “bridal suite turns into predawn death trap”. I should be so lucky.

Ooh, I wanna live in the Enchanted Cottage! Complete with ghostly maid service!!

Nasty…Delilah falls into Ric’s dreams and learns about his childhood history.

Omigod…can we stretch this even further…?? Delilah’s concerned because her CSI twin, Lilith, and her own name ALMOST spells “death”. Yup, I bet it could almost spell all kinds of things. And then Douglas goes off on some weird segue about Cesar’s 1940s mistress Vida and how her name can be re-arranged to spell…oh, no…”Diva”!! What the point is…I haven’t a clue.

Well, it’s one way to grab the reader’s interest, having Delilah eliminate Ric’s whip welts by licking them away only for Grizelle to burst in to demand Delilah stop. God forbid, Douglas tells us how it actually affects Snow…why else would we bother to pick up the next installment??

The Story
Delilah and her allies have gotten Ric out of Egyptian hands (see Brimstone Kiss) and Snow has him set up with complete medical care in the Bridal Suite at the Inferno. But Delilah is worried about the coma he’s in and she flies to Virginia to get his “mom”.

Delilah also applies her manipulative skills to Hector to goad him into granting her a bit part on his CSI so she can do more detecting. Cesar Cicereau also needs Delilah’s skills—his dead daughter is bewitching all the monitors in his casino and he’s had to shut down all sorts of moneymaking enterprises. Either Delilah gets rid of Loretta and he’ll get rid of her. Only Loretta wants the same aid or she’ll keep haunting the Gehenna.

Then there’s that minor matter of the trapped humans under the Karnak Hotel. Ric had sensed them when he’d last been there and he doesn’t intend to leave ’em there!

Then there’s Graduation Day for the Snow groupies! An important date for a group that Delilah put together…that she’s almost too embarrassed to attend. Might have been better if she hadn’t when she encounters that pack of hyenas only to end up on a slab for Victor Frankenstein!

The Characters
Delilah Street is something other than human with her power of the mirror. And a passion for vintage clothing and classic movie. Dolly is her ’56 black Cadillac Biarritz with a red leather interior and a white ragtop. Quicksilver is part wolfhound and newly adopted from the Las Vegas ASPCA. And suddenly protective of Ric. Irma is her subconscious girlfriend.

Ric Montoya, a.k.a., the Cadaver Kid, is her raising-the-dead boyfriend, a skill that almost got him killed. Philip and Helena Troy Burnside are Ric’s “foster” parents; he’s military and she’s a doctor of psychology with some very particular and intuitive skills. Captain Kennedy Malloy is a friend of Ric’s and it she might have a thing for Sansouci. Grady “Grisly” Bahr is the coroner for Las Vegas and seems to have a very handy deal with Nightwine Productions.

Lilith Quince is Delilah’s twin—hiding out in mirrors and framing Delilah for her kills. Theda Bara‘s Cleo brings Shezmou back into Delilah’s life. Howard Hughes is the oldest vampire still in Las Vegas and seems to have a lot more going on than we’ve previously known.

Hector Nightwine is the producer of CSI and a seriously odd man. He’s agoraphobic with a gourmet taste in truly disgusting “food”. His butler, Godfrey, is a CinSim with a secret alliance with Delilah. CinSims, Cinema Simulacrums, are a result of a merging of zombies with classic film stars brought back to “life” to serve whoever purchases their bodies. Nick Charles and the Invisible Man are CinSims at the Inferno who help Delilah with her investigations, break-ins, and escapes; lucky Nick, Snow falls in with Delilah’s suggestion to reunite him with Asta and Nora. Peter Lorre/Ugarte and Rick Blaine (from Casablanca) are more helpers.

Snow, a.k.a., Christophe, oddly enough, gets the last word so to speak—Delilah actually apologizes. Grizelle is his shapeshifter (white tiger) bodyguard.

I still haven’t figured out Caressa Teagarden‘s role. Delilah was supposed to have interviewed her in Kansas but she disappeared. And she’s reappeared in a nursing home in Vegas, giving Delilah odd little presents. Caressa had a twin before they were separated in the movie business; their original names were Lilah and Lili. Caressa does tell Delilah about Gargouille. A dragon who will devour a person at their extremes of innocence or guilt. The same dragon Snow brought forth in Brimstone Kiss. It also seems that Christophe may be Caressa’s cousin.

The Karnak Hotel hosts a brother-sister pharaoh/vampire team—Kephron and Kepherati—who are much too interested in Delilah and Ric. Bez is a dwarf god who helps along with Shezmou, Anubis’ headman.

Loretta Cicereau is the vicious ghost daughter of a werewolf mobster, Cesar Cicereau, and she wants revenge. Seems her undead/dead boyfriend, Prince Krzysztof, is rampaging through Vegas as a result of Ric’s forced aid and she wants the same aid. Sansouci is Cesar’s vampire hostage (and hit man) with a sympathy for Delilah. Madrigal is Cesar’s pet magician. He and his two assistants Sylphia and Phasia have been trapped at the Gehenna for 60 years.

El Demonio Torbellino was the leader of the zombie-selling gang of Ric’s childhood. Now he “heads up a dozen criminal operations all over Mexico and along the U.S. border”.

The Cover
The cover is Vegas with its neon lights and gigantic, lit-up martini glass behind a leather-clad Delilah in her tight pants and bustier, holding a silver whip as she stares at something coming down.

A Vampire Sunrise is the drink Delilah whips up on the private plane winging Dr. Burnside to her “son’s” bedside.

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