Review: Sin’s Dark Caress by Tracey O’Hara

Title: Sin’s Dark Caress {Dark Brethren #3}

Author: Tracey O’Hara

Published: Harper Voyager July 2012

Synopsis: “An ancient darkness has risen from the ashes . . . and terror has been loosed upon an unsuspecting world.” Forensic witch Bianca Sin has never seen anything like it: homeless teenage girls torn to pieces by dark magic in the cold shadows of the city. More terrifying still is the symbol written in blood on an alley wall–the unmistakable seal of the Dark Brethren. Teaming up with NYPD homicide detective Lancelot McManus and an elite task force headed by the shapeshifter Oberon DuPrie, Bianca knows her worst fears have finally come to pass. A new war of annihilation is looming that will plunge the worlds of vampire, shapeshifter, and human into chaos–and two adversarial tribes locked in uneasy truce will need to take up arms together to save the children. Trust will be essential for Sin and McManus, as the hunt forces them to confront their deepest terrors. For the ultimate evil is no longer approaching. “It’s here. ”

Status: Read from July 19 to 20, 2012 — I own a copy {Courtesy HarperCollins/Edelwiess}

My Thoughts:

It has been a while since I have read something in the Urban Fantasy genre and I’ve missed it. Having read Night’s Cold Kiss and Death’s Sweet Embrace last year I jumped at the opportunity to read Sin’s Dark Caress as part of the AWW (Australian Women Writers) challenge I am participating in and was quickly drawn back into O’Hara’s dark fantasy world.
Forensic witch Dr Bianca Sin features in this installment, called in by NYPD homicide detective Lancelot McManus when young women are found brutally murdered, an infant ripped from their womb and the Dark Brethren’s mark painted nearby in blood. While the FBI blame a black market baby ring, McManus, Bianca and Oberon’s team know that there is something much more sinister happening.

I enjoyed the plot of Sin’s Dark Caress which blends action, mystery and magic with a touch of romance. There tends to be a fair bit of grisly violence in the story but it supports the gritty tone of the series. While the last two books in this series veered towards paranormal romance, Sin’s Dark Caress is more properly urban fantasy. The relationship between Bianca and McManus is an aside rather than central to the story though O’Hara does ensure the romantic tension between the pair remains present throughout.

Bianca has appeared briefly in other installments of this series as a member of Oberon’s elite team. She is a forensic specialist and also a witch but has never bonded with a familiar, a necessary process for a witch to come into full power. In Sin’s Dark Caress her powers are activated when her pendant hatches to reveal a dragon, Kedrax. Dragons are the first guardians of the veil between this world and the dimension where the Dark Brethren are trapped, and Bianca’s new power, along with McManus’s surprising birthright, are crucial in preventing their escape.

Sin’s Dark Caress is a fast paced read with plenty of action, exciting twists and strong characters. With its mix of murder, mayhem and magic I think its the strongest book of the three and though it could work as a stand alone, I would recommend reading the previous installments.

Available To Purchase

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Dark Brethren Series

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