Sins of the Angels
When Toronto Homicide Detective Alexandra Jarvis was nine years old her insane mother murdered her father in a violent slashing rage. She is currently working a serial killer case in which the violence at the crime scene reminds her of the violence in her family home on that fatal day. The latest victim had his chest ripped open and his throat sliced while posed in a seemingly ritual way.
Working on caffeine, Alex is unaware that the brutal culprit is Caim the fallen angel who escaped from Limbo incarceration. His motive is Apocalypse now to include the immediate capture of Alex’s soul. Aramael the Guardian Angel teams up with Alex to prevent his brother from ending the world. Neither the angel nor the confused mortal (from glimpsing what looks like wings) is prepared for an attraction that shakes heaven, hell, and earth.
Although not to read on an empty stomach due to extremely graphic murder scenes, Sins of the Angels is an exhilarating serial killer urban fantasy. The investigation and the Armageddon compete for top billing as the two subplots do not fully merge until late. Still sub-genre fans who enjoy a police procedural fantasy will want to read the teaming up of the cop and the angel as she wants to end the terror reign of a vicious serial killer while he tries to prevent the final war between heaven and hell on battlefield earth. Harriet Klausner
In Boston shapeshifter Victory Vaughn is the only professional demon exterminator in town. After dispatching a particular nasty Peccatum 24/7 sinful demon, with permits Victory and her boyfriend Kane the werewolf lawyer head from Deadtown to her sister Gwen’s house in Needham through check points manned (loose definition) by zombies who accept junk food bribes and humans who accept nothing from the paranormal especially if the guard is a Human First zealot.
Her niece Maria is starting to have the pre-shifting dreams, which alienates the two sisters as one is forced to live in Deadtown while the other resides in the human burbs. Meanwhile Victory worries about her roommate Juliet on the run from The Old Ones and the action of the South End Reaper serial killer has the paranormal and the normal on the edge of vigilante justice and rioting. If that is not enough to take her off her food, Kane becomes stuck in his wolf persona.
The third Deadtown urban fantasy (see Deadtown and Hellforged) is a terrific thriller in which Vaughn’s personal and professional lives deftly intertwine. The fast-paced story line grips the audience but also makes a strong case against a prejudicial society that uses de jure and de facto means to keep a group locked away as second class citizens. Filled with action even when waiting to get through ID card checkpoints, Bloodstone is a terrific taut thought provoking thriller. Harriet Klausner
NYPD police officers Jack Murphy and David Rodriguez work a Brooklyn beat. The global drought and food shortages left the planet on the brink of pandemic disaster; that was until a miraculous manna was distributed. However, soon afterward the feral cannibalistic Can Heads began appearing. Politicians, refusing to accept blame, insisted to the human masses that a survival war between us and them requires patriotic measures. This night the Can Heads attack the two patrol cops; leaving David dead and Jack injured.
Needing to heal, Jack, his wife Christie and their two kids (Kate and Simon) go on Vacation to the Upstate fortified Paterville Family Camp where people eat old fashion real food, drink pure water, and have fun. When Jack helps with preventing a Can Head assault, he is rewardeed with a job offer and a permanent move into Paterville with his family, who all vote yes. However, Jack will soon learn the truth about the miracle of Paterville.
In an already bleak world in which the Yankees are no longer in the Bronx as the Can Heads own the borough, the atmosphere turns brighter in Paterville when soon afterward it drops to its darkest. Readers will think trice about vacationing in idyllic rural areas as Jack and his family learns that Paterville has a nasty side under the glitter of a Vacation oasis as it is the Eagles Hotel California with a gruesome addition. This is a gripping post apocalyptic horror thriller. Harriet Klausner
John Ajvide Lindqvist
In 2004 Sweden Anders and Cecilia take their six year old daughter Maja from their home in Gavasten to tour the nearby icebound lighthouse off the archipelago Domaro Island. Precocious Maja likes to lead but she vanishes as her parents lose sight of her. The frantic adults search everywhere for their precious child, but fail to find her. The conclusion they make is somehow she fell under the thin but solid iced channel, but no evidence of holes or weak spots are found.
Though they have been an entry since being young teens twenty years ago, their marriage falls apart as Cecilia tries to move on passed her grief while Anders becomes an alcoholic who is unable to let go of his guilt for not watching his offspring closer. Two years since the tragedy, Anders returns to Domaro believing he will find his beloved Maja. Instead he begins to hear whispers of ritual sacrifice by the indigenous islanders including his mother to the nearby sea.
Harbor is a dark thriller in which the audience will wonder whether the sacrifices are to a supernatural being or just superstitious island mythos induced murders. The fast-paced story line is character driven by the seemingly insane Anders, but owned by the villagers; similar in tone to Anthony Shaffer’s The Wicker Man. Though one must wonder why he (and Cecilia) had not thought of what seems to be common knowledge, readers will relish this tense suspense. Harriet Klausne