'They will play with us, then destroy us... They are what we fear in the dark.'
The first warning is unexpected, calculated. The second warning is a gift: a plain white mask, carefully wrapped. But white is good - white means we are only being watched.
It seems the power that connects me, Anita Blake, with Jean-Claude Vampire Master of the City and Richard, leader of the werewolves, is attracting very unwelcome attention - from creatures so feared no vampire will willingly speak their name. They are known as the Harlequin, and they have the authority to pass judgement upon me. It is forbidden to speak of the Harlequin unless you've been contacted. And to be contacted is to face a sentence of death.
At the start of bestseller Hamilton s solid 15th adventure to star vampire hunter Anita Blake, Malcolm, the priggish head of the Church of the Eternal Life (the vampire church), is so desperate for help in dealing with the Harlequin, a troop of vampire enforcers and spies so feared vampires are forbidden to speak its name, he turns to those he considers sinful and corrupt Anita and her sweetie, Jean-Claude, St. Louis s Master of the City. The Harlequin may have targeted Anita and the powerful triumvirate she has forged with Jean-Claude and Richard Zeeman (aka Ulfric of the werewolves). According to the rules, the Harlequin must make contact through delivery of a mask white to indicate they are watching, red for pain, black for death. Anita receives a white mask, but the members of the Harlequin aren t playing by the rules. Shorter and more tightly structured than the previous entry in the series, Danse Macabre (2006), Hamilton s latest should prove more satisfying to longtime fans with its straightforward supernatural politics and steamy (but not extreme) sex.