The Vampire Shrink

The Vampire Shrink - Lynda Hilburn “My Involvement with vampires began innocently enough.” This is the first sentence of Kismet’s story and it speaks volumes.

Dr. Kismet Knight is a psychologist in private practice working in Denver, Colorado. At the opening of the book she meets a new young patient “Midnight”, who dresses ‘goth’ and claims, as their therapy session continues to be involved with a group of vampires at a bar called “The Crypt”, in downtown Denver. Kismet of course concludes that Midnight has created a fantasy world and is participating in dangerous activities with vampire ‘wannabees’. Midnight is completely enamoured with the leader of the ‘vampires’ whose name is “Devereux”.

Following the session with Midnight, Devereux pays Kismet a visit in the guise of wanting an appointment for therapy. Devereux has to be one of, if not the most charismatic vampire I’ve read. He is 6 feet tall, a studley, with long platinum hair and turquoise eyes. Devereux is 800 years old and Ms. Hilburn has written the vamps to become more powerful with age. Needless to say, when Devereux claims to be a vampire, Kismet engages him as an insane delusional patient.

The juxtaposition Hilburn creates between Kismet Knight and Devereux is fabulous. She is a modern independent woman with a Doctorate in Psychology whose analytical thought processes are founded in science and he is a 800 year old vampire leader of a coven who is an artist and an individual with essentially old world ideas. I hooted with laughter at some of the dialogue between these two characters as Kismet tries to school Devereux with respect to her expectations as a modern woman.

These vampires have varying strengths and abilities with respect to power, as you will find if you read the book(s) but I will say that mind reading, and entrancing humans are two of their gifts. The strength of their power depends on the sire and their age. Ms. Hilburn's vamps will rock your socks! Devereux also has an interesting power that enhances his vampire abilities and will surprise you.

There are a coterie of fascinating supporting characters that add to a plot that is exciting, suspenseful, a little frightening and full of twists and turns. As Kismet becomes more involved in the vampire underworld, her very existence is threatened. There is even a vampire with Dissociative Affective Disorder, now really; you don’t see that one every day! lol I have to say though that Kismet’s wonderful dark humor and tendency to psychoanalyze the vampires she encounters offsets any of the more frightening sequences.

A mortal FBI profiler “Alan” becomes involved when one of Kismet’s patient’s turns up in her office very nearly drained of blood. Alan is very handsome with a dark secret and he vies for Kismet’s affection creating a love triangle in the romantic plot. (This also adds to Kismet's confused feelings for Devereux).