When I started reading this novel I had just about given up on this series. After reading the previous book I thought that Handeland had lost whatever it was that made the early books in the series so great. I'm pleased to say that it seems that Handeland is back on track with this novel. In fact I think I would say that this is the best novel in the series so far.
Rising Moon is book 6 in the Night Creatures Series by Lori Handeland. The premise of the series is that there are lots of monsters in the world, most notably so far in the series werewolves and to a lesser degree zombies. There are a group of monster hunters called Jager Suchers (hunter searchers). The organisation was created following the Hollocaust during which monsters were made by the nazi's.
Rising Moon is set in New Orleans, the setting of many of the important events in the series so far. However, apart from the location and of course the compulsory monsters, there doesn't seem to be much of a link to the rest of the series. Anne Lockheart is in New Orleans searching for her sister who went missing years before. While there she lives and works in a bar that is owned by a mysterious blind man called John Rodolfo. Strange things start to happen and as Anne and John find it impossible to deny the attraction between them (or to stop themselves acting on that attraction) she can't help noticing that there's something strange about John.
I loved this book. I reluctantly started reading it because I had been so disappointed by the series recently and I guess in some ways that made the book all the more enjoyable. It just hooked me from the beginning and the interesting thing is that it isn't even the romance that really captivated me. Don't get me wrong, the romance was good. There was heat and sentimental moments between John and Anne. Like in many books in this series there is often the question of is this hero really one of the good guys. This novel, like the rest of the novels in the series, is written in the first person so we only ever see John through Anne's eyes which I think adds to the mystery of him. While she's wondering what exactly it is that's odd about him the reader is wondering too which I thought added to the supsense and mystery. Both characters are complex but it's really Anne's character that is explored in the novel again because it's written in first person.
However, as I said it wasn't really the romance that captivated me. I enjoyed the romance, I liked knowing that I was guaranteed a happy ending but this novel was so much more than an excuse to throw two characters together in an exciting setting. I really don't want to say too much because I don't want to give anything away. There are lots of mystery's to be solved in this novel and there were times when I thought I had it figured out and then discovered that I was partially right but never quite got it. The reason I never quite got it is that there is a huge twist. Until this twist I thought that it would actually read well as a stand alone novel, and it would but if you really want to get the significance of the twist read all of the books before this one. The twist was just huge and I think I may have literally gasped when I read it. I never in a million years would have guessed it.
Everything in this novel is written well. There's plenty of suspense, good character development, heart breaking moments, moments of tenderness, reasonable sex scenes...it's just all there. This novel pulled me in from the first page and kept me hooked until the very last. Lori Handeland is at her best in this novel and this has renewed my interest in the Night Creatures series.