by Vicki Pettersson
Genre: Urban Fantasy | Excerpt: Yes
Reviewed by: Julia | Source: Publisher
Excellent – Loved it! Buy it now & put this author on your watch list.
References to prostitution, rape; Mild descriptions of group sex; sex scenes.
He’s a fallen angel. She’s a rockabilly reporter. Together they must solve a deadly string of murders plaguing the mortal and the immortal worlds.
Griffin Shaw used to be a PI, but that was over fifty years ago when gumshoes hoofed the streets . . . and he was still alive. Now he’s a Centurion, an angel who assists other murdered souls through their journey to the afterlife. But while Shaw might be an angel … he’s no saint. Haunted by the mysterious events surrounding his own death, he seizes a chance to wreak some vengeance when he witnesses a deadly attack on journalist Katherine “Kit” Craig.
Joining forces, the unlikely avengers take to the streets, hunting a killer whose trail of bodies stretches across Las Vegas and into an immortal netherworld. It is a dangerous trek that lead them into the darkest corners of Sin City and into the heart of an evil conspiracy extending beyond the lights of the Strip that could destory them both.
But destruction isn’t the only threat Griffin faces. The closer he gets to Kit, the more he finds himself bewitched by her mortal charms. Can he resist falling under her spell? And does he want to?
An angelic Sam Spade with a softer side and a fast talking reporter who sees the good in everyone, the two main characters of THE TAKEN are two of my favorite tropes brought to glorious new life on the Vegas strip. Pettersson’s rich writing style brings the witty banter and glamorous fashion of noir mystery into modern day technicolor, and I could not be more fascinated by her intriguing new world.
THE TAKEN asks you to buy into two main conceits: the Rockabilly lifestyle that defines Kit Craig and a celestial mechanism of souls being returned to heaven. Pettersson won me over with the billies. Though there were times when the underlying psychology of nostalgia seemed a little far fetched, THE TAKEN‘s entire narrative structure activates the senses. A lifestyle of immediacy, of practiced living and art, seems both possible and seductive in this context. Grif’s position, of being a reincarnated P.I. simultaneously wrestling with unresolved guilt and celestial longing, took longer for me to digest. Like the slow burning romance, however, when Pettersson turns her attention to a subject she does a fantastic job. Kit and Grif’s chemistry just burns off the page, and by book’s end, Pettersson had taken all of her individual threads: Kit’s lifestyle, Grif’s past, angelic politics and human murder and corruption and depravity… all weave together into a cohesive story that makes me oh so glad I went along for the ride.
Though THE TAKEN is satisfying all on it’s lonesome, I’m excited to know that it is just the start of a beautiful friendship. Despite the dark nature of the mystery in THE TAKEN, Pettersson’s hero has a gentle center underneath his gruff exterior. Paired with Kit’s whimsy, these two make a team I can’t resist. Add to that the intriguing impact of earthly senses on celestial beings, and this is one world I can’t wait to revisit.