|Title: Banshee Charmer
Author: Tiffany Allee
Series: From the Files of the Otherworlder Detection Agency #1
Cover Art: N/A
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Source: Entangled Publishing
Reviewed by: Kristina
Explicit sex scenes, kissing
Good – A fun read with minor flaws. Maybe read an excerpt before buying.
When she’s sent to a crime scene and finds her second dead woman in as many weeks, half-banshee detective Kiera “Mac” McLoughlin is convinced a serial killer is on the loose. Incubi are extinct, her boss insists. But what else can kill a woman in the throes of pleasure? When her partner is murdered after using witchcraft to locate the killer and Mac is thrown off the case, her frustration turns to desperation.
Certain the killer is an incubus, Mac works behind her department’s back to chase down slim, sometimes perilous leads. While the killer eludes her, she does discover handsome Aidan Byrne, an investigative counterpart from the enigmatic Otherworlder Enforcement Agency. Mac typically runs her investigations fast and hard, but with Aidan at her side, she’s running this one “hot” as well. But Aidan knows more than he’s letting on—something that could shatter their blazing romance and add Mac to the killer’s growing body count…
BANSHEE CHARMER, the novella length of the new Files of the Otherworld Enforcement Agency starts off with an interesting premise; Kiera “Mac” McLoughlin, a half-banshee police detective, must track down a serial killer who isn’t human and shouldn’t even exist anymore according to her boss. Banshees are not your typical protagonists, even in paranormal fiction, so I was excited to see Mac’s unique brand of supernatural powers in action.
Banshee mythology portrays them as screaming harbringers of death. In BANSHEE CHARMER, Mac’s screams can stun or kill when necessary. This is a rather handy skill to have in her line of work. Potentially lethal screaming aside, there wasn’t a lot about Mac to connect with. Whether this is due to the shorter length (novella), or not, I don’t know but there just wasn’t enough. That observation is unfortunately true for both the romance and world building. Too often I felt like I was being told interesting things about characters and this world without being able to really absorb them appropriately before something else happened.
One thing you can’t rush in a paranormal romance, is the romance. I would be tempted to categorize BANSHEE CHARMER as urban fantasy since the romance wasn’t very strong. Mac’s love interest, Aiden had potential to be an interesting character with his mysterious background and his job with the Otherworlder Enforcement Agency but I was mostly left wondering what Mac saw in him besides his attractiveness. Their romance seemed rushed and I felt like I was missing scenes where they were connecting with each other on a level that was more than lust.
Overall, the great premise and supernatural serial killer plot in BANSHEE CHARMER were strong enough to help balance out the shortcomings with the romance and characterization. A lot of my criticisms are probably due to the novella length restrictions. I’m hopeful that the next installment will be a full length novel that really takes advantage of all the promise in the Files of the Otherworlder Enforcement Agency. There is definitely something here.