The Da Vinci Code meets medical mystery with a little vampire love thrown in

If Angels Burn - Lynn Viehl

Opening line: "Got another letter from that Cyprien guy" Grace Cho said as she placed the office mail on Dr Alexandra Keller's desk."

Dr Keller is a reconstructive surgeon, and she's really fast with the sutures too, with a booming practice and her skills in demand she can afford to choose her cases. One patient in particular, Michael Cyprian won't take no for an answer and eventually has his people kidnap Alex, flying her to his mansion in New Orleans and forcing her to reconstruct his horribly disfigured face. Due to her compassionate nature Alex performs the surgery; its quite tricky though because once cut Michael heals immediately but she's up for the challenge. After the successful surgery Michael is beautiful once again but unfortunately for Alex he's also very hungry.

Filled with bloodlust Cyprian bites the good Doctor thus infecting her with the vampire virus. Alex then spends her time trying to figure out how to cure herself as she goes through some dark changes on her way to becoming a Darkyn. Lots of attention here is also given to her brother John. A very tired priest who travels to Rome and undergoes special training with some not so nice monks known as the Breathen. Their mission is to hunt down and torture (extensively) the Darkyn, ultimately destroying the race. Bad news for Alex who is on her way to becoming one of them.

I will admit I struggled through the first half of If Angels Burn. The amount of French spoken and Darkyn language without a glossary was overwhelming and the considerable sub plots and characters confusing. It came together a bit for me in the end and I really liked Alexandra's spunkiness as well as the old fashioned speech and mannerisms of Micheal.

This was a dark, violent ride but full of adventure and well written. However I wouldn't label it a romance and I definitly wouldn't call it erotic as the cover states. Its more (The Da Vinci Code) meets medical mystery with a little vampire love thrown in. The one and only love scene (if you could even call it love) doesn't take place until almost the end of the book and even then it's pretty mundane.

As a by-the-way does anyone else think the guy on the cover looks like Toby Mcquire from Spiderman? I'm just saying its a little weird.