If the murderer you’re tracking is a vampire, then you want a vampire detective. Just maybe not this one.
It’s not that Jack Valentine is bad at her job. The youngest member of Oxford’s Seekers has an impressive track record, but she also has an impressive grudge against the local baron, Killian Drake.
When a human turns up dead on May Morning, she’s determined to pin the murder on Drake. The problem is that none of the evidence points to him. Instead, it leads Jack into a web of conspiracy involving the most powerful people in the country, people to whom Jack has no access. But she knows someone who does.
To get to the truth, Jack will have to partner up with her worst enemy. As long as she can keep her cool, Drake will point her to the ringleaders, she’ll find the murderer and no one else will have to die.
Body bags on standby.
This may be my first book by Josie Jaffrey, but it certainly wont be my last! May Day starts instantly and the pace remains steady through the book. When we first meet Jack she is annoyed, annoyed she has to watch over a bunch of drunk Uni students to make sure no one kills themselves, shes bored, that is until a body drops from the tower and Jack and her fellow Seekers smell the unmistakable odour of Silver anger which could only mean one thing… the killer is a Vampire like them. Jack and her team are instantly on the case, finding out why a Vampire would want to kill a human, and in such a public way. They find out the case is linked to three other murders in London which brings the Solis Invicti onto their doorstep, and put Jack in the path of her least favourite Vampire, The Baron of Oxford Killian Drake. As Jack looks into the case, she starts noticing discrepancies, things that just don’t add up, things that seem to be pointing towards the Solis Invicti themselves. As the conspiracy deepens and Jack starts poking around in places she shouldn’t, she might have to rely on the one person she absolutely refuses to trust.
One of the big selling points for me was the characters. Jack Valentine is a ‘recent’ turn in the case of Vampire years, her assignment to the Seekers is thanks to her almost Eidetic memory, and almost certainly not to her non-existent bedside manner. Once she gets the scent of a case there is no deterring her, and she will follow the clues no matter where they lead. But she has a fatal flaw, the woman can hold a grudge, she is also slightly alcoholic and liable to punch before asking questions but with some of her cases I find I can’t really blame her. I loved her interactions with her fellow Seekers; Cam her best friend and the calm and considered to Jacks ‘jump into danger’ attitude. Naia, the newest member, she is sarcastic, unafraid to get into a little trouble and tends to get a little too involved in her co-workers love lives and Boyd, the leader of their Seeker crew, he’s hardworking, uninterested in his co-workers personal live and annoyed that he hasn’t made Captain yet. There are a multitude of other characters that we get introduced too and they are all built up brilliantly and play a pivotal part of the plot.
May Day is a really fun mash-up of ‘urban fantasy’ and ‘murder mystery’. We have Vampires mixed in with regular humans, living alongside them in relative harmony, only taking enough blood to survive and with a Vampire police to make sure no one accidentally ‘outs’ them. Even though this may not be the first book in Jaffrey’s ‘Vampire’ series she does a brilliant job at giving the reader an insight into the inner workings of her Vampiric world without OTT info dumps. Her Vampires aren’t sparkly, they aren’t pre-naturally beautiful, they’re just regular people who never really age from when they were ‘turned’ with super speed and power. The main plot of this book is finding out who killed David Grant, but there is a deeper mystery as well, one that Jack starts to uncover through this case, and one that is left open at the end. There are a multitude of twists and turns, I was definitely left guessing through most of this book. I had no idea who the killer was and only came to the realisation at the same time as the characters. So though the main plot of May Day may be tied up at the end, the author leaves us with a multitude of unanswered questions that left me ridiculously eager to get my hands on book two.
Romance lovers fear not, this book has some steamy ass romance. Yes there is a kind of love triangle… one where I seriously wanted to hit two members over the head with a heavy object. One side of the triangle is filled with unwanted and unacknowledged feelings that lead to an inevitable bang (not literally), but man was the ride fun and I am extremely eager to get more interactions between the two of them in the next book. The other side is slightly lighter, a new romance, filled with unsure glances and fleeting touches and as much as this might be the healthier of the romances out of the two I am a SUCKER for a angsty romance so I wasn’t as invested in this side as much as the other.
My only issue with this book is it ended on one hell of a cliffhanger and I need book two like right now… May Day was an incredibly fun and fast paced read, with an engaging murder mystery, relatable and overly likeable characters and some steamy and angsty romantic scenes! I will definitely be picking up Jaffrey’s other books set in this universe, if only to fill the void until I can journey along with Jack again.