Watchers in the Night
Unlike many of the vampire romances filling the shelves, the author of Watchers in the Night does not glamorize her undead characters. In Ms. Black’s world, vampires who feed off humans become addicted to the killing, and become menacing Killers. Other vampires who manage to subsist without killing humans are known as Guardians and they have taken it as their mission to keep humanity safe from the Killers. The Guardians are not glamorous creatures and they struggle daily to stay away from the darker life of the Killers. Into this stark world, Black brings a rather unusual romance.
Carolyn Mathers has come far since being abandoned by her fiance, Gray James. She left the police force and opened her own PI business and finally seems to feel as though she has her life together and is moving on from her loss three years before. Then one night she sees Gray again. He looks much altered, but she recognizes him at once. Though it is obvious Gray still cares for Carolyn, he seems almost unwilling to spend time with her and also seems to be hiding something.
Carolyn is determined to discover the truth behind Gray’s mysterious three-year disappearance while at the same time, she also finds herself drawn into investigation of a rash of rapes and murders taking place throughout the city. The killings appear to have elements of vampirism to them and they also seem to be linking with Gray in some fashion. Through Gray, Carolyn learns of the Guardians and she uses this knowledge to learn more about the vampires and to attempt to prove Gray’s innocence.
The premise of this novel is an interesting one, and I found the gritty nature of the vampire world to be different than what I am used to reading. However, this story really needed stronger lead characters than those supplied by the author. Gray, in particular, seems rather vaguely drawn, making the story much less engaging than it should be. In addition, while the rekindling of Gray and Carolyn’s love has some good moments, the conflict caused by Gray’s disappearance never seems to be dealt with fully. Since these are the events that set the tone for the rest of the story, the omission is rather curious.
Though different from most vampire-themed novels, Watchers in the Night is not vivid enough to live long in the mind after the book is finished and is a little too forgettable to garner a recommendation. Given the glut of paranormal books on the market, readers can afford to be picky and this tale did not make the cut for me.