The fourth book in the series. Cadogan House was attacked at the end of Twice Beaten, and the house vampires are slowly rebuilding without any help from the humans. In fact, humans are no longer allowed in the vampire houses - a new rule made by the mayor's office. There are even human protestors camping outside the vampire houses. With these protestors, we are introduced to McKettrick, the leader of a special-ops team fixated to get rid of the vampires. Merit and Ethan are called into the Mayor's office to discuss the escalating violence caused by vampires, which supposedly resulted in the death of three young women in a rave, based on the information provided by an junkie eyewitness. The Mayor offers an ultimatum: either the situation gets resolved, or Ethan gets arrested. Add to that the fact that Darius, the leader for all the vampire houses, is visiting Chicago - specifically Cadogan House - and threatening to enact a receiver, who will oversee all the responsibilities Ethan holds and reduce Ethan leadership status. Merit starts investigating and teams up with Jonah, the head guard from Grey House and a member of the Red Guard who are the equivalent to internal affair officers and investigators.Ethan was acting completely out of character in this book; He was groveling and trying to woo Merit. He was acting like a mature adult, taking responsibility for his actions and he was a competent house leader. And then he gets himself killed while protecting Merit. Death by an Aspen stake through his heart and turned into a pile of ashes. Is he really dead? As much as I want to see him gone, I don't think so. Two weeks after his funeral, Merit has a dream about him but she wakes up hearing him yelling her name in her room. She thinks it is part of her dream. I think he is a ghost, trying to telepathically communicate with her. We were also introduced to George, a river troll who talks about how Chuck, Merit's grandpa is quieter than the rest. I believe he is talking about ones' soul and I have a strong feeling George will be a key player in bringing Ethan back. I think Catcher, who is a master of the second key weapon, has given Ethan a way out. After all, we were told the weapons can be basically anything, and based on what we learned from Mallory there is an entire system of dark magic that overlays the four good Keys. Based on the synopsis of the next book, Lake Michigan is turned black, which I presume has something to do with the dark magic that was part of Ethan and his ashes that were disposed of in Lake Michigan.