Blood Price - a blast from the past

  • Posted on: 10 September 2021
  • By: Sevhina

The existence of vampires and demons in Toronto suggests that Blood Price fits into the urban fantasy genre but since it was published in 1991 it predates the tropes associated with that genre. Vicki Nelson was an amazing homicide detective until she started losing her sight so she left the force and got her license as a PI. One night she's at the subway station when an impossible murder takes place. It is part of a series of brutal serial killings that the press call the Vampire Murders even though everyone knows that's impossible. Henry Fitzroy is the bastard son of Henry VIII, a vampire, and romance novelist who wants to stop the killer because he doesn't want to face the modern equivalent of a pitchfork wielding mob. The killer is actually something worse than a vampire, a demon, and it will take Vicki's investigative skills and Henry's supernatural powers to stop it from releasing Hell on Earth.

A nerdy college student decided to try summoning a demon based upon his Comparative Religions coursework. Turns out all you need is a piece of chalk, a few candles, and a Hibachi. It's 1991 so there are no cell phones, the virus people are talking about is HIV, and parents still suspect that playing D&D is a form of Satanic worship. Henry is apparently attractive, but this isn't a romance, and through a few flashbacks (ala Highlander) you will learn how he became a vampire. The excerpts from the novel he's working on are only a slight mockery of the bodice rippers that were so popular then. Vicki is the gritty cynical ex-cop who's off and on relationship with another homicide detective consists of arguments, sex, and the occasional talk about the case. It's all very Law & Order: Paranormal Unit.

I read Blood Price back in 1995 but I think it was more fun now as a blast from the past. I still got the same feeling that it could have been more. It's so well balanced between being a detective case file, supernatural fantasy, and a human interest story that Huff doesn't push any of them far enough to be memorable. It's not exceptional but still good enough that Lifetime made it into the TV series Blood Ties and the six book series has never been out of print. Reviews place it at four stars but Audible reviews indicate that the narrator could be better.