Hellbent in the second book in the Cheshire Red series, Cherie Priest's Urban Fantasy series centered around Raylene Pendle, cat burglar and vampire. No sparkling. No hand stapled to forehead melodramatic despair. Sure, there's some neurosis, but overall Raylene is a woman who's playing to her strengths, and having a relatively fun time doing it.
The book picks up not long after the first book in the series, Bloodshot. The main plot of the Hellbent is a fairly seamless continuation of one of the major plots from the first book. Raylene has a side job in the story involving the stealing of supernatural dick bones and...
Yes, you heard me. Supernatural dick bones. I'm not speaking metaphorically or anything. Supernatural dick bones. I'm not going to give any explanation at all, you just need to read it.
Anyway, the side job provides a subplot that really doesn't intersect the main story much, but it does provide for an interesting new character in Raylene's universe. Without giving too much away, I'm not too sure of the credibility of how Raylene deals with this new character. It just seemed a bit too out of left field and plays a bit fast and easy with her quirky tendency to "pick up strays". All the same, I'm hoping to see how this thread develops, should there be more in the series.
In terms of the main story, it's fantastic. Priest delivers a tight, action-packed ride that gives some more insight into the freaky vampire world that Raylene exists in. (It also gives you an understanding as to why she tries to avoid vampires whenever possible. Jesus, whatta bunch of whackjobs.) A major plot carryover from the first book is resolved in a very,very creative way, once again providing some great grist for the mill of future books in the series, which I definitely hope that there are. Rating: Three out of four cracked-out monkeys.