Saturday, October 13, 2007

The Watcher-Jeanne C Stein

The Watcher
Jeanne C Stein
Ace, Dec 2007, $7.99, 304 pp.
ISBN: 9780441015467

Bounty hunter Anna Strong never knew vampires existed until she was bitten by one and was turned. Now she is taken under the wings of two different kinds of men. The San Diego Chief of Police is a century old vampire who formed the Watchers; vampires who police the supernatural community keeping humans safe from the ones that are evil. She gets her human drug supply in a small desert Mexican town when the local bar is run by Culebra. It is the meeting place for vampires who need to drink human blood and humans who want to donate it.

She sees her lover Max there but he looks frazzled because of the bounty on his head by a Mexican drug lord. When she returns to San Diego, a FBI agent tells her that Max, a DEA agent, has gone rogue. She believes the agent is lying; and assumes the agent has a personal and evil vendetta. She intends to find Max but when she returns to Beso dela Muerte she discovers the witch Ms. Burke and her coven are going to summon a demon in the one minute window of opportunity on Halloween. She has to stop her not only because the demon will kill all the good supernaturals and because she intends to sacrifice Culebra. While she is battling the forces of darkness the drug lord kidnaps Max and intends to abduct Anna in order to torture her in front of him.

Everyone has plans for Anna but she has her own ideas of what she wants to do with her life and she is strong enough and independent enough to choose her own destiny. No human, including Max, knows Anna is a vampire and she fears if Max finds out he will leave her. This action paranormal thriller is full of unexpected twists, red herrings and the occasional wild goose chase. Jeanne C. Stein writes an enthralling vampiric mystery that has a lot of suspense, a touch of magic and a bit of romance so that readers of multiple genres are satisfied.

Harriet Klausner

1 comment:

safasf said...

5
去年下半年以來的 酒店工作金融海嘯,不僅讓市井小民壓力沉重, 酒店上班就連專營高檔客層的精品商家,也都面臨不小的壓力, 寒假打工
甚至無力負擔商圈的房租,市場瀰漫著一股悲觀的氣氛。


隨著股市、房市 暑假打工的熱絡氣象,外界預期一些辛苦經營的精品店面、 酒店PT商圈,將順勢而起,不過,熟悉大台北商圈的欣元商仲總經理焦文華直言,目 禮服酒店前精品業者的經營還相當艱困,景氣反轉的力道並不如外界預期。


焦文華分析,精品商圈 兼差的經營,確實還是面臨消費力不足的困境。目前消費者物價指數已連續兩個月負成長(六、七月份),具體反映出消費力衰退的現象,高檔的珠寶、手錶、服飾等精品市場感受更深,部分店家業績 打工,更是過去高峰期的三分之一,業者稱得上是「苦撐待變」。


永慶店面事業部 台北酒店經紀經理李元鳳表示,精品商圈在金融海 酒店經紀嘯中確實面臨很大的壓力,且當時都無法預期景氣何時好轉 酒店打工,耗費數百萬元的裝潢成本,更迫使業者無法輕言放棄。以當時的天母SOGO商圈為例,就算距離天母SOG 酒店兼差O百貨的開幕已經不到半年的時間,但周邊店面的空置率仍高達二十%,顯示屋主與業者都存有濃厚的觀望心態,這 酒店兼職與過去市場會提前反映利多現象有顯著差異。


雖然精品業者辛苦經營,但是從喝花酒永慶店面事業部的統計數據來看,五大精品商圈的空置率在今年上半年皆有明顯下降,但是積極展店的業種,卻是以餐飲、零售等微利事業體,精品商圈交際應酬的「精品氣氛」,已逐漸稀釋。


不僅精品商圈的味道變了,過去勇於投資精品商圈的粉味投資客,追價的力道同樣大不如前。李元鳳表示,以台北市最廣為人知的「晶華酒店商圈」為例酒店喝酒,售價從二○○八年曾出現的每坪三百萬元的高檔價格,到今年平均一百八十萬至兩百五十萬元的水準,雖然店租行情波動不大,但也反映出目前買方出價的「保守」。


徐佳馨表示,從空置率數據來看,與去年狀況極差的第四季相比 酒店,精品商圈的空置率都出現明顯的下降,但由於各界對於景氣是否反彈仍有疑慮,因此就算租金與售價已開始蠢動,但是否能夠真實反映市場實況,仍存有許多變數。