Title: Judgement Day
Author: Josie Jaffrey
I received a free ARC copy from the Author and in conjunction with The Write Reads Tours and BBNYA in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.
You can read my review of the Book Blogger Novel of the Year Award 2021 Winner – May Day, Book 1 in the Seekers series HERE
Vampires don’t get happily ever afters.
Jack Valentine finally has her shit together. She has a great job, great friends (well, one at least) and a girlfriend whom she loves, even if she can’t work up the courage to tell her that yet. Unfortunately, she also has an archnemesis who’s about to punish her crimes in the worst possible way: by making her spend time with him.
Which she could cope with, maybe, if she didn’t have problems at work as well. When the body of a human judge is found in a locked library, there’s no denying that she was murdered by one of the Silver – by a vampire – and the evidence points worryingly close to home. If that wasn’t bad enough, some of Jack’s least favourite people are opening a new blood bar in Oxford with questionable motives. For Jack and her team, it’s becoming increasingly hard to separate allies from enemies.
With conspiracies on every side, the simmering tensions in Silver society are about to come to a head. As usual, Jack intends to be right in the middle of it. She does like it when things get messy.
The Seekers series sits firmly in one of my favourite genres magical/paranormal police procedural/ investigative mystery. Judgement Day picks up a few months after the events of May Day and continues with just an intriguing and complexly interwoven mysteries as the first in the series. I absolutely adore the detail and layers that are established within the Silver’s society and how that interacts the with human world and the job the Seeker’s preform in that balance.
Jack Valentine is a fantastic MC. She walks the perfect line of sulky, alcohol driven noir style PI and the plucky young thing on the force that is determined to solve every case. This lends such a great tone to the narration as I love Jack’s determination and grit but I also like that she is fallible. She fucks up, she trusts the wrong people and the wrong times and she allows people to play mind games with her. This book also made me fall for Killian Drake. He took on such a different role in this instalment and I really enjoyed this side to his character.
Just like book one, the depth of character and there individual relationships were huge. Everything about this world seems solid and well established so even through the strain is beginning to show and turmoil to the status-quo is being introduced it felt like it was a long build up and not something that has just appeared for the purpose of this book. It makes all the friendships and working relationships feel more solid as there is a vast history to each one. This is further cemented by the natural conversations that the characters have. Jaffrey real has mastered this sort of easy going flow to the conversations. Also particularly the conversations between her scientific characters (Whoo for good Science rep) move between the every day and into the scientific and back in a very familiarly way (I loved a the wee cheeky chat about the mitochondrial electron transport chain – one area I have worked in myself).
The plot is just so much fun too. There is so much twisting and weaving, betrayals and unexpected allies it makes for such an interesting investigation for the team. It was a really hard book to put down as it really doesn’t let up on the plot. While there is not a lot of action something is always changing in the investigation drawing you in more and more. I found myself eager to now how it all played out, not just for Jack but for the other characters too. The ending was just perfect! I think those that read book one will be very satisfied with how things played out but also a little bit shaken by the shock reveal. Overall, I can safely say I have everything crossed that there will be more books in this series.
From both books 1 and 2 it is clearly evident why all of us at BBNYA loved Josie’s work so much and I want to again Congratulate her on her win!