Book: The Bloodhound Files – Home is where your gun is

Sometimes a book’s title grabs my attention and won’t let go, it is generally something short that think it is funny but has an edge to it – ‘Dying Bites’ is a good example.

Fortunately ‘Dying Bites’ was also a good book even if the premise is insane: FBI profiler Jace Valchek is pulled into a parallel universe to hunt a human serial killer who is targeting vampires and werewolves. In this world humans make up less than 1% of the population, so there are a lot of potential targets .

dying bites

The parallel world is interesting as due to a spell no one takes guns seriously, however Jace has taken her gun into this brave new universe and is trying to re-educate various monsters – by shooting them.

Unsurprisingly the new universe has magic as a driving force, which makes things interesting (they have golems!) and slightly odd at times. Jace also requires the same magic-user who summoned her to this universe to return her, otherwise she may not go back to the same point in time – this is an important plot point and one that soon grows arms & legs.

DD Barant wrote a total of six books featuring Jace, The Bloodhound Files, and I have the vaguest feeling that the series was meant to be a trilogy, that might just be because the first three books are the strongest or because the titles start being a bit iffy after the first three.

bloodhound

(Photo from DailyPuppy)

In order the books are ‘Dying Bites’, ‘Death Blows’, ‘Killing Rocks’, ‘Better Off Undead’ , ‘Back from the Undead’ and ‘Undead to the World’. There seems to be a clear split in the title format after the third book.

Unfortunately that was also the case with the plot, it got overly complicated after the first three, there are started being wider ramifications and more magic than even Jace can put holes in.

There also started to be plot creep, the plot seemed to take on a life of its own and it stopped looking like there was a clear cut ending.

undead to the world

The final book, ‘Undead to the World’ starts strangely Jace has been magically and unknowingly dragged into another parallel universe and thinks that she is someone else. All the people in the town are characters from her normal-parallel universe but with a twist.

I did start reading and wonder if there was a missing chapter at the beginning because it just launches into this odd plot and nothing makes much sense at first.
Things sort of start to make sense eventually and it is interesting to guess along with Jace as to what the heck is going on!

But then the book ends on a cliff-hanger, in fact the whole series ends on a cliff-hanger and that feels like a copout. I got the impression that Barant didn’t know what to do with Jace and that he wanted to work on another project.

Under the picture there may be things that could count as spoilers, please be warned!

Wizard of Oz

Jace defeats the Big Bad, saves at least a couple of familiarish faces – although most people are dead long before the final showdown, then has a choice of three universes to go to. She says that she’s made her choice but the reader doesn’t get told what this is, then the book and series ends.

My best guess is Jace went back to her normal-parallel universe. There are too many dead bodies in this new parallel universe and her regular universe (with guns and no magic) was a bit dull, whereas the normal-parallel universe is rather interesting and gives her new challenges.

So maybe making up my own ending is better than an author getting bored and writing a really random ending out of the blue – in what I am sure is an unrelated thought I’ve seen multiple copies of Charlaine Harris’ ‘Dead Ever After’ in charity shops recently and even in the Waterstones’ bargain bin!

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