Welcome to this week’s “meeting” of the Preternatura Book Club! Today, we continue with the first book in Jeaniene Frost’s Night Huntress series, Halfway to the Grave.
Here’s how it works. Each week, I’ll post a summary (spoiler alert!) on two chapters, and we’ll chat about them. Try to minimize spoilers beyond what’s happened in the book we’ve read so far. You can read along, read ahead, or just stop by and read the summaries. After the Book Club has been up a few days, I’ll move it to archives so you can still come back and read. There’s a “Book Club” tab above. So, let’s get started!
HALFWAY TO THE GRAVE, CHAPTERS 21-22
We have had several slow chapters now as the author set up the ending conflict and got Cat and Bones’ relationship better established. So I’m ready for action.
But we start with Cat getting ragged on my Mom for not visiting. Cat invites her for dinner on Friday, planning to tell her about Bones. Somebody’s at Mom’s door, and she hangs up. Then somebody’s also at Cat’s door—it’s a couple of police detectives, Mansfield and Black. Apparently, they’d found a car she’d dumped after killing her first vampire. It belonged to a female victim of the vampire, and a headless corpse that had been dead twenty years was found recently buried nearby. They seem to have more evidence than they should to link Cat to the whole mess. Finally, it comes out that Cat’s ex (whose hand Bones mangled at the bar) Danny Milton ratted on her.
Fearful of using the phone, Cat gets dressed for a run, goes to the mall, then winds her way to the Bones Cave. She pours out her heart to Bones, but his reaction surprises her—he tells her to call her mother and tell her and the grandparents to get out of the house. What Bones realizes is that Hennessey is well connected, and Cat will be on his radar now. He’ll be able to hurt them through Cat’s family.
Cat calls home and…no answer.
Cat and Bones speed off to her grandparents’ house, where they find a bloodbath. Her grandparents are dead, and her mom is missing. Bones can scent Hennessey and three accomplices. Cat doesn’t have time to fall apart—Bones warns her that someone’s coming (and that he found a note in grandpa’s pocket). It’s the same detectives that questioned Cat earlier. Bones tries to shield Cat, planning to take the bullets that won’t kill him, but Cat has other ideas. She skewers one detective through the wrist with a throwing knife, and the other gets a knife in the forearm. She and Bones escape on his motorcycle.
After driving awhile, Bones pulls the bike over and enthralls a motorist into giving up his car. They drive to an out-of-the-way Motel 6 so they can talk and Cat can clean up. Hennessey wants to meet at 2. Cat wants to go alone, to protect Bones. He won’t buy that, of course—but he is afraid she’ll start seeing him as a monster again. They both cry (awww…), then make love. She doesn’t say it aloud, but Cat thinks it’s the last time. Bones feeds from a couple of ne’er-do-wells in the neighborhood, then Cat feeds from him and experiences her first case of bloodlust. Thus fortified, they get ready for battle.
Well, okay! Now we’re going somewhere. I’m anxious to see how all of this plays out.
Cat’s reaction to drinking deeply from Bones was interesting, plus she’s burned a lot of her human bridges behind her with the cops. I foresee her embracing more of her vampire side in the future.