Shrouded in Night by Curtis Hoffmeister
What if the police were confronted with a grisly string of supernatural murders that make Jack the Ripper look like an amateur? The St. Louis County Police Department has never seen anything like it, and the lead detective on the case knows there’s only one person they can call for help. Ex-cop Robert Benoit currently works as a private investigator, handling cases of infidelity instead of solving murders. Fired from the Department on a trumped-up charge of police brutality, he’d be the first to admit he holds a grudge. After all, it wasn’t his fault he was mauled by a werewolf and now grows furry when the moon is full.
Benoit infiltrates a local werewolf pack as he searches for clues and suspects. He meets and falls in love with the alpha female of the pack, Felicia de la Rosa. Felicia is at odds with the alpha male, Joseph Sutherland. She knows Joseph is somehow involved in the killing spree. Yet Felicia has a dark secret of her own: like her parents before her, she serves Desirée Le Gallienne, a centuries-old master vampire.
Working with Detective Kimberly Hawkins, Benoit determines this is actually a dual case, perpetrated by two different serial killers. One is a werewolf whose gang shakes down local business owners for “protection” money. The other murderer is an ancient, evil master vampire. While stopping the gang is a relatively straightforward, if bloody task, taking down the rogue vampire proves to be another matter altogether. Can Benoit stop him in time? And will he retain his freedom, or will he end up belonging to Desirée, like Felicia?
Cloaked in Darkness by Curtis Hoffmeister
Book Two of the Robert Benoit series finds him a troubled man. He and Felicia de la Rosa are passionately in love, and the werewolf pack flourishes under their leadership. Benoit is doing well financially, too. In addition to a now-lucrative career as a private investigator, he also works under contract for the police, hunting down rogue vampires and lycanthropes. So why is he unhappy?
The source of his dissatisfaction is Felicia’s vampire master, Desirée Le Gallienne. Though she professes to love Benoit, he believes she actually wishes to “own” him, just as she owns the alpha female. Brooding, he becomes reckless, brawling with one vampire after another. Detective Kimberly Hawkins, Benoit’s partner with the police, notices his aggressive behavior when he takes down an undead exotic dancer. All is not peaches and cream within the werewolf pack, either. Paul, an ambitious newcomer to the pack, is spoiling for a fight. He voices his opinion that Benoit is a whore for the humans, doing their dirty work against his own kind.
Desirée takes advantage of the situation when Felicia leaves town on a business trip. A skilled seductress, she wastes no time trying to strengthen her hold over Benoit, and for a while she seems to be succeeding. He becomes convinced she truly loves him, yet he is still uncomfortable with their strange relationship and her controlling, self-serving nature.
In the midst of all of this turmoil, Benoit begins working a new case. His client, Mrs. Jillian Randall, is being stalked by a vampire, one with a taste for unsatisfied ladies of means. Christened “the Don Juan vampire” by the local news media, he seduces these women for blood, cash and sex. Events take a turn for the worse when another, far more dangerous adversary enters the picture. And he’s out for revenge.
I always thought I had the smartest brothers in the world. I felt a surprisingly comfortable mixture of jealousy and pride. But now, I’m just proud. The author of this series is my brother, and I love what he’s come up with.
I like vampires and werewolves. I like cop stories. So when Curt decided to mash them together, I really enjoyed the result. The main character is Robert Benoit, a private detective who becomes a werewolf after an attack that leaves his girlfriend dead and ruins his career as a cop. When a series of supernatural murders stump the police, they call in Benoit, who partners up with Kimberly Hawkins, a human detective, to investigate the more supernatural cases that arise in a world of vampires, werewolves, demons, and ghosts. Sexy and often tongue-in-cheek, with a edge of realism thanks to our cop dad, these books are a great read.