Random thought: I wonder what the hell the titular conspiracy is, or is the title just supposed to be nifty-sounding?
Team Shit for Brains just escaped into a tree, and they’re in a chamber inside that’s carved from the wood. Gillian is apparently claustrophobic and freaked out that Jack might have Fey at his disposal who could open their little tree hideaway. Wow, is it just me, or are these little flashes of wisdom getting more frequent?
McNeill (and presumably Claire, who hasn’t had fuck all to say in several chapters after trying to hump Trocar) expresses confusion about what’s going on, and Gillian informs them that she’s in trouble with Dracula.
…wait, they didn’t know this? I mean…I guess it’s possible they didn’t know (and I can’t be arsed to go back and look for the specifics), but it still seems odd. They also weren’t aware that Gillian is also on Jack’s shit list. McNeill makes a very astute point:
“You insulted a sexual sadist Vampire serial killer and you didn’t think that was an important detail to share with Scotland Yard?”
Yeah, you’d think, wouldn’t you? But we all know Gillian doesn’t share important information unless it’s forced out of her. Jenna jumps right in and says, “Hey, it’s not like you would have believed her.” Well what the fuck wouldn’t they? What’s so unbelievable about “Volatile incompetent person pissed off a dangerous vampire?”
Now everyone is acting like there’s no way Gillian could have known Jack was after her.
Are you fucking serious right now? There was no way to predict that the murderous vampire who chased you out of the hospital, the reason you fled from London, might follow you? I am actually kind of insulted that I’m supposed to suspend my utter, contemptuous disbelief long enough to think Team Shit for Brains is just that terminally stupid.
Apparently McNeill still has his BlackBerry (I am totally judging him for still having a BlackBerry), and everyone sends off emails to their respective superiors plus Aleksei. Because apparently they still get cell reception in a tree cave in the middle of nowhere, France.
Everyone passes out for a while, and when they leave the tree, the cavalry, which is in this case Interpol and Scotland Yard (they must have made excellent time from England) has already showed up and secured the manor-fortress. Charles and the Kenyan vampire are dead as well as some other faceless enemies. Dahlia is understandably upset, and we’re told what a good grief counselor Gillian is. Oh, yes, I’m just sure she is.
Dahlia is apparently to be carted off by her Fey brethren so she doesn’t “die of a broken heart.” Because OF COURSE SHE WOULD. She had no purpose in life other than to be Charles’ stage dressing, so she has to be shuffled offstage before she wilts away.
Gillian gets to go back to Romania and “resume her cover.” Uh, excuse me, what cover is there to resume? If a thief stole all the towels from a nudist beach, there would be more cover there than Gillian has, by the narrative’s own admission. Remember (you probably don’t because I barely do) when she was sent to Russia for the child trafficking thing? Team Shit for Brains was ostensibly sent because they were high profile.
Gillian et. all wander off to rest at a hotel. Apparently Jenna has been exchanging “salacious and sordid” emails with Tanis. Gillian, you fucking hypocrite. You fucked Tanis within days of meeting him after he fucking SPANKED you, and then you got hot and heavy with his brother. I’m not judging, but neither should you. If the woman is fool enough to get on that abusive asshole’s dick, that’s her business, not yours. She claims she wants Jenna to be happy, but
She just didn’t want to examine her own feelings for Aleksei too deeply at that particular time and Jenna’s single-minded sexuality toward his brother wasn’t helping her keep her own thoughts in check.
What the fuck does Jenna’s email porn have to do with Gillian’s feelings for Aleksei? They’re brothers, yes, but if my best friend wanted to bang my partner’s brother (sorry for that image sweetie and Christina), I can’t say it would inspire me to consider my relationship with my partner. Also, why shoehorn a relationship (or whatever) between Jenna and Tanis into the story? It’s like every woman who drifts into the story must immediately be paired off with one of Gillian’s awful circle of acquaintances, probably so they can be shuffled off stage.
I mean, I write books with a lot of romance in them and people do tend to find partners (usually multiple partners because that’s just me), but there are some truly random matches here. What is the point?
By the way, tell me you don’t picture Gaston when you think of the Rachlavs.
Well, I guess that’s it for this chapter. I should have known after a couple of chapters of halfway decent pacing, we’d stumble back into the quicksand pit of Fuck All Happens.