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Lynda Hilburn

Kismet Knight, Vampire Psychologist, Book 1

Jo Fletcher Books (2011)

ISBN: 9780857387196

Reviewed by Tehani Wessely

The most interesting thing about this book is that it was originally self-published, apparently selling over 200,000 copies on Amazon before being picked up by the Jo Fletcher Books imprint of Quercus Publishing. I’m not too sure why they chose to do that – surely there are other, more interesting books out there that have not already reached a vampire-saturated market that Jo Fletcher could have taken on?

Kismet Knight (excuse me while I throw up a little at the name) is a moderately successful psychologist experiencing early career ennui – she has a solid practice, a nice apartment, and no social life, despite her oft-described attractiveness. Her only real relationship ended badly (and was pretty woeful anyway), and she’s almost ready to dip her toe in the dating waters again, at the same time seeking a new angle for her psychology to be revitalised by.

Enter vampires. Well, vampire wannabes at least. Kismet meets a patient who seems to wholeheartedly believe in the creatures of the night, and not only that, wants to become one. As a rational human, Kismet sees only the mental health issues associated with such a delusion, and considers this a perfect direction to focus her work on. Soon, however, Kismet finds herself meeting unusual people who do things she can’t quite justify. Oh, she tries hard (over and over and over) to explain away evidence that suggests vampires are actually real, but in the end, she has to admit that there is more to the world than she had ever imagined.

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Lynda Hilburn

Jo Fletcher Fiction (2011)

978-0-85738-720-2

Reviewed by Lorraine Cormack

The Vampire Shrink is part of that fast-growing sub-genre, vampire chick lit romances. None of those elements are necessarily bad, but it’s a field that’s getting so crowded that originality is starting to become a rare thing. Despite that, Hilburn does manage to inject some freshness into her setting and some of the scenarios, although many elements of the plot seemed a bit routine to me.

Kismet Knight is a psychologist looking for an idea. She needs to write her next book, and keep her profile up. She wants something interesting, and original, and maybe a little sensational too. But nothing has really caught her imagination. Then she meets her new client, Midnight. A teenage girl, Midnight has been referred by her family. They’re worried about her fixation on an older man, and more precisely about her desire to become a vampire like him. While Kismet is genuinely concerned about Midnight, she also becomes entranced by the idea of people who genuinely believe that they – or other people – are vampires. She wants to protect Midnight from the presumed predator who appears to be grooming her, but becomes distracted by the idea of becoming the Vampire Psychologist. Kismet will counsel “vampires” and wannabe vampires, and at the same time gather material for a truly original book.

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