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Night Rising: Vampire Babylon    by Chris Marie Green order for
Night Rising
by Chris Marie Green
Order:  USA  Can
Ace, 2007 (2007)

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* *   Reviewed by Martina Bexte

When Dawn Madison learns that her estranged dad, Frank Madison, has gone missing, the young stuntwoman heads home to Hollywood to find out what's happened to him. She soon tracks down some of Frank's associates: Breisi, a beautiful Latino computer whiz, and Kiko, a psychic little person who matches her in attitude. There's also the matter of the mysterious Mr. Limpet, who runs the agency, and to whom Frank, Breisi and Kiko answer. Dawn wastes little time in signing on so she can get the lowdown on her dad and the case he'd been working on when he vanished.

She soon learns that her father had been tracking the strange resurrection of one time child star, Robby Pennybaker. It's obvious the boy is very much alive and starring in a movie - but what's the connection to Frank? Dawn has a ton of questions and decides to start asking the most logical source of answers, Robby's mother. But the bloodsuckers who turned Robby are determined to keep their identity a secret. They have no intention of allowing Dawn and her entourage to discover their ultimate agenda - but the creatures soon learn that they're messing with the wrong stuntwoman.

While Chris Marie Green (aka Crystal Green) boasts a healthy backlist of category romances, this is her first foray into the paranormal. In this first installment of the Vampire Babylon trilogy there isn't really a defined love story going on other than telepathic erotica between Dawn and the mysterious disembodied Limpet. This story leans more toward action and Dawn is definitely a kick butt kind of heroine whose intent to get to the bottom of her dad's disappearance never wavers. But she still harbors numerous insecurities, the biggest being her vague understanding of her parents' relationship, as well as her movie star mother's unsolved murder - topics her dad never cared to discuss with his only child.

Even so, Dawn forges ahead and gets the job done. She exhibits plenty of spunk but sometimes her wisecracking, in-your-face attitude seems to get away from the author to the point where it annoys, and interferes with the continuity of the story. Despite this though, Green has developed a dark, edgy and entertaining plot teeming with a hierarchy of truly villainous Tinsel Town vampires, and an engaging mystery that keeps you guessing.

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