Librarian and volunteer firefighter Lanie Weber is about to undertake the most depressing journey of her life. Her scientist father Clint Weber has apparently been killed by a wild animal in the Amazonian jungle. Former military man Mac Knight has agreed to fly Lanie down to Taribu--but he has an ulterior motive, he's investigating what has happened and whether or not a naval officer named Lance Burton is also dead.

When Mac and Lanie arrive at the remote facility, they discover the blood-drained bodies of the staff. However, Weber and Burton are not among them. Then a strange stone-like figure comes to life, attacks Mac and nearly kills him. Lanie saves him with a blood transfusion, but Mac is no longer all human. Lanie realizes that the creature is the legendary Chupacabra. Apparently, the venom of El Chupacabra will turn a human into a vampire if they die or a hybrid if they survive, as Mac did. Knowing Weber and Burton are now vampires and headed back to the U.S., somehow, Lanie and Mac must find a way to stop them.

Rising star Popp gives vampire mythology her own spin by incorporating the legend of El Chupacabra. She does a stellar job combining intriguing characterization with gritty suspense, adding up to a major thrill ride! (Sep., 368 pp., $6.50)
Reviewed by: 
Jill M. Smith