|Title: Lies & Omens
Author: Lyn Benedict
Series: Shadows Inquiries #4
Cover Art: Shane Rebenschied
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Reviewed by: Julia
Sexual Content: A sex scene.
Sylvie Lightner is a P.I. specializing in the unusual—in a world where magic is real, and Hell is just around the corner. After escaping secret government cells and destroying a Miami landmark, Sylvie’s trying to lay low—something that gets easier when a magical force starts taking out her enemies. But these magical attacks are a risk to bystanders, and Sylvie can’t let that slide. When the war between the government and the magical world threatens the three people closest to her—her assistant, her sister, and her lover—Sylvie has no choice but to get involved with hidden powers bent on shaping the world to their liking. Now, with death and disaster on the horizon, even if Sylvie wins, things will never be the same…
It was such a treat to be back in the Shadows Inquiries world, and LIES AND OMENS doesn’t waste a single page before ramping up the action. Almost invisibly, Benedict intertwined gentle reminders about Sylvie’s past without slowing down the current events one bit (though new readers should definitely put in the time to read prior books). By the time Sylvie was clinched in what is the absolute best shower scene I’ve ever read, I knew I was going to gulp this book down in one sitting (and I was right).
Above and beyond a killer first act, the entire book is infused with Benedict’s knack for appealing darkness. None of the loose ends from prior books are swept under the rug, but these difficult, heart-wrenching relationships are saved from any hint of drama by Sylvie’s clear-eyed emotional bravery. In general, I do not like angry characters, yet Sylvie’s brand of rage is transmuted into something gorgeous. Her intransigence becomes more and more important as the line between “friend” and “monster” blurs. Whether it’s something as small as mentioning the bitter taste of soap in a sex scene or acknowledging the devastating consequences of past victories, Benedict brings a gritty reality to her urban fantasy that I find absolutely irresistible.
Despite the shotgun start, LIES AND OMENS did have a lull in the action two thirds of the way through. However, that slight pause soon swept away to a climactic finish. Benedict managed a difficult feat for a mid-series ending, offering a resolution that was satisfying for her characters while still lighting the fuse on fantastic possibilities for future books. LIES AND OMENS was #10 on my Top 12 for 2012 list, and as quickly as I’ve finished it, I’m already penciling in a spot for Shadows Inquiries #5 on this year’s new list.