Vampire Bytes

Linda Grant
Scribner, 1998. 386pp
ISBN: 0684826755

review by Harriet Klausner

Computer programmer Matt Deming, a fan of LARPING (live action role playing) is murdered on the same night Chloe Dorn disappears. Private Investigator Catherine Sayler is hired by the girl's parents to find the missing teenager. Catherine is also hired by the deceased's employers who want a computer game disc and associated code book that Matt had stolen from them returned.

As Catherine investigates both cases, she soon realizes that they merge. It seems that Chloe was having sex with Matt and was with him the night he was killed. Making the investigation even more difficult for Catherine is that the town's clergy and police are struck by anti-satanic fervor. Though the anti-Satan zeal interferes with her case, Catherine knows that she must quickly stop the killer before the missing girl becomes his next victim.

Vampire Bytes is a well designed mystery that has many viable suspects with reasonable motives for committing the crimes, turning the novel into an almost unsolvable who-done-it. Additionally, the entertaining story line contains serious social issues that are intelligently presented in an informative yet entertaining manner. Linda Grant has scribed a very intriguing Catherine Sayler mystery that will have fans wanting more tales starring the intrepid sleuth.

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