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Blood Will Tell

The change in Brandy Mather's life begins when a corpse of a very old man is discovered on the campus of Jackson Purchase State University. There is no sign of foul play. On the body is the identification of Professor Everett Land, but Land is a young man.

Dental records show that the body found on campus is that of Everett Land. It doesn't make sense; Land was a healthy man in his forties, seen by faculty and students looking perfectly normal just hours before his death. The corpse is of a man over 90, maybe over 100, who died of multiple systemic failure due to advanced age.

Brandy enlists the help of Dan Martin from the Computer Science department to search records of Everett Land's past. They discover that about thirty years ago he assumed a new identity, and that under his old name he had reached his sixties. Despite the continuing mystery of the age discrepancy -- how could a man actually in his sixties, seventies and eighties possibly pass for a man in his twenties, thirties and forties? -- the police chief declares the case closed and tells Brandy to get on with her other cases.

Brandy can't let go of it, though. Other cases require her time and energy, but when she can, she continues to work on the Land case.

Meanwhile, she becomes more and more involved with Dan Martin. Soon she falls in love. Martin, though, has his own mysteries -- the most important one to Brandy being why he does not make love to her. Sometimes he seems to have supernatural powers, but she doesn't believe in such nonsense. Besides, nothing he does cannot be accounted for as his being especially strong and healthy, particularly intuitive and persuasive ... can it?

Dan Martin is not who he says he is.

Blood Will Tell is not just your standard good-guy variation on the worn-out vampire story. This book asks the question: what if the vampire is not at the top of the food chain?

Winner of the Lord Ruthven Assembly's award for the best work of fiction on the subject of vampires

An Awe-Struck Release


Jean Lorrah

Jean Lorrah is Professor of English at Murray State University in Kentucky. She currently lives with two dogs, Kadi Farris ambrov Keon and Princess of the Lost Land, and one cat, Soolin Stormwatcher. Dr. Lorrah has published fifteen science fiction and fantasy novels and one children's book previous to Blood Will Tell, but this is her first contemporary novel.
You can always find the latest news about her work at http://www.jeanlorrah.com.

Reviews

4 STARS

"BLOOD WILL TELL shakes up everything you thought you knew about vampires, reconstructing legends into a fresh story that keeps your mind fully engaged. It is great to see a writer dare to change long established fictional canons in such a pleasing way. Both hero and heroine are strongly principled and have great strength of character. Small town life is well portrayed, and fans of Ms. Lorrah's past books may see an inside joke or two."

Amanda Killgore -- TRCC


"Jean Lorrah creates an intriguing blend of police procedural, science fiction, and romance with a heroine as strong and appealing as Clarice Starling in Silence of the Lambs. Comparable to the vampire mysteries of P. N. Elrod and Tanya Huff, this novel is a must-read for the discriminating fan."

Margaret L. Carter -- Author, The Vampire in Literature: A Critical Bibliography


"Blood Will Tell is the best read I've had in several months... When I finished it, I wandered around my house from stack to stack of books disconsolately looking for another book that good. There wasn't one. I wish every book on the stands was this satisfying, this exciting and profound. I love this book. It's right."

Jacqueline Lichtenberg -- Author, Those of My Blood, Dreamspy
Excerpt

"I'm just a good listener," he said. That was when Brandy noticed that he didn't smile the way other men did when they uttered such pleasantries. Had she seen him smile at all? She wasn't sure.

"Well, good listener, I'm afraid it's time to go home," said Brandy as a new rush of customers entered the restaurant. She was amazed to see that it was 11:23. The 9:00pm movie must have just let out.

Ten minutes later Brandy found herself pulling up outside her own apartment building, Dan Martin still in the car. She didn't feel tired, though, and the night was bright with the full moon. "Wow. I must be so tired I spaced out," she said. "I didn't even ask where you live."

"That's okay. I'll walk home. But I'll see you to your front door first."

Brandy laughed. "I'm perfectly safe. I'm a cop, for goodness' sake!"

"And I'm a gentleman," he replied, getting out and coming around to open her car door. No man had done that since a couple of extremely shy boys in high school!

Deciding she did enough roaring as a police officer, Brandy let him hand her out of the car and walk her up the stairs. At her door, he said, "I want to see you again."

"I'd like that," she replied, and fought down a strong urge to invite him in. This was not the swinging 70's, when safe sex meant not banging your head on the headboard!

She had wanted men before, but never so strongly -- and never, ever, on a first acquaintance. She had always resisted, successfully.

Dan Martin took her in his arms, and Brandy discovered how comfortable it was to be held by someone only a few inches taller than she was. Their lips met without either getting a crick in the neck. It was as if they had kissed a thousand times before, knew each other's texture and rhythm.

She opened her mouth to his, found warmth and gentle teasing. He nibbled at her lips, then stroked his tongue under her chin and down her throat. It felt both weird and wonderful. She tilted her head, let him caress her neck.

Although they were standing, she practically lay in his arms. How strong he was, never a quiver of his muscles under her weight. She felt secure, protected, and eager. Finally, she knew what she had preserved her virginity for!

But even as Brandy sought to find Martin's mouth again with hers, he let her go. "I'm sorry!" he gasped, breaking the spell. "Please -- forgive me."

"There's nothing to forgive," Brandy said, caught between confusion at his sudden change and the lingering desire he had evoked in her. "Why don't you come in?"

"Not tonight," he said, too hastily. "Please -- go inside, Brandy. You're too intoxicating by half."

It was not until the next morning that she realized she could not remember telling him her nickname. She had introduced herself as "Officer Mather." He would have seen "Brenda Mather" on the nameplate on her desk. But she hadn't misheard that remark about intoxication.