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WesternSFA
Ghosts of Memories
by Barb Hendee
Ace, $7.99, 324pp
Release Date: October 2, 2012
The prolific Hendee forthwith presents the 5th installment of her Vampire Memories series, featuring Eleisha Clevon as one of a handful of young vampires who have eluded the murderous intentions of Julian Ashton, an elder vampire who is determined to eliminate all rivals.

Eleisha and Julian Brante have created a sanctuary in Portland , Oregon for vampires, and have resurrected the old Laws that allowed vampires to live amongst humans. The first of these laws is to feed to survive, but not to kill. Learning how to modulate their gifts of beguilement and to leave behind believable, dismissible false memories has been one of the major undertakings for Elisha and her kind.

Locating vampires in hiding is the task of her friend and former police psychologist Wade Sheffield, ably assisted by a ghost named Seamus. What they don’t know is that Julian has coerced another ghost to his bidding. Thus Julian can let Wade and Seamus do all the work of finding and contacting hidden vampires; then he moves in for the kill.

This time Wade has found a pair of vampires, con artists who use their gifts to stage séances for wealthy, bereaved clients. Christian Lefevre survived as a pickpocket in the streets of Paris before the Revolution before he was made; now he loves the trappings and comforts of wealth. With his assistant, the beautiful Ivory, he has passed as an extraordinarily gifted psychic for decades, changing identities and locales to avoid notice. How will Christian and Ivory react to the offer of asylum, and the menace of Julian’s remorseless pursuit?

I am pleased that Hendee satisfactorily resolves the original major story line in this book, while introducing an entirely fresh conflict that can arc over the next however many volumes. Her characters are each distinct, with believable motivations, conflicts, and personalities. She is especially good at revealing the sympathetic core at the heart of even the most villainous or ambiguous of characters. Each story in this series has left readers simultaneously satisfied and wishing for more. So sink your teeth into this one. – Chris R. Paige

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