Fans of Kim Harrison and Laurell K. Hamilton will enjoy this tightly plotted and fast-paced tale set in a world of vampires, werewolves, fae and one shape-shifter named Mercy. Mercy's
a likable protagonist whose ability to get herself into -- and out of -- jams
is unparalleled. Astute readers will notice a growing similarity between Mercy
and Hamilton's Anita Blake, but that's the only real flaw in an otherwise superb book.
The vampire that Stefan takes the message to is hardly ordinary -- he's possessed by a demon. This makes him a bit harder to track down, especially once Mercy's friends are captured and she has no one to help her except for Andre, a vampire who may or may not be trustworthy. (Ace, Feb., 304 pp., $7.99)