Saturday, September 20, 2014
Reviews from Harriett
Black Opal Books, $12.99
In Portland, Taliesin Security Wraith, Kyn-human hybrid, Raine McCord kills purebred Quinn, who murdered two college students, but not before she took a wound from his magically enhanced blade. Her biggest fear is when she reports his death to their boss, Type A control freak Ryan Mulcahy the head Fey in the Northwest, who told her bring him in.
She arrives home, but has no time for respite as her Wraith co-worker Gavin Durand arrives with a message from Mulcahy that they will team up on an inquiry into Jonah Talbot of the Talbot Foundation who insists someone murdered seven of his associates in seven years and he is next. Mulcahy distrusts Talbot who might be using a ploy to conceal he is the killer; but if innocent one of the Wraiths would be the next best suspect.
The first Kyn Kronicles’ urban fantasy is an exciting action-packed paranormal investigative thriller that deftly enables the audience to believe in the existence of the magical community’s four sentient species. Raine is a fabulous lone wolf protagonist saddled with a partner she does not want especially since she suffers an undesirable attraction towards Gavin. On the other hand Gavin is a typical hunk with a bad boy attitude that irritates the heroine and the reader for the same reason: he distracts her and us from a walk on the dark side of the mean streets of Portland. Harriet Klausner
Harper Voyager, $14.99
Five decades ago someone murdered private investigator Griffin Shaw and his wife Evie; the case was never solved. On the bottom rung of the celestial ladder, Griff assists the purebreds by collecting the souls of murder victims; in exchange for his cooperation he has permission to investigate the homicides of him and his spouse. Recently, he met Las Vegas reporter Katherine "Kit" Craig when he was to collect her soul; but he broke the rules by failing to do so as he fell in love with the mortal after Anas clipped his wings due to defiance (see The Taken).
A new deadly drug eats away the flesh of the krokodil users. An obsessed Kit believes she and her beloved angel need to prevent further deaths, but Griff must collect the soul of krokodil user Jeap Yang, which angers his mortal girlfriend. Kit interferes, which leaves her vulnerable to fallen angel Scratch. Still, as is her personality, she leads the charge against the powerful Marielitos Cartel.
The second Celestial Blues bittersweet romantic urban fantasy (see The Taken) is a strong tale starring a hard boiled 1950s detective with a soft boiled heart and the “Impossible Dream” reporter “… willing to march into Hell, for a Heavenly cause”; as defined by her and not heaven. With the angelic hierarchy seemingly real, fans will enjoy this super thriller; as the cold case murder mystery, Scratch and the drug war deftly come together. Harriet Klausner
I Left My Haunt In San Francisco
Mark Everett Stone
After a decade plus as the top agent and only still living member of his graduation class at the Bureau of Supernatural Investigation, Kal Hakela faked his death so that he could kill the invincible Finnish monster Iku-Turso who murdered his sister (see What happens In Vegas, Dies In Vegas). His BSI boss BB re-recruits him to train the Green Peas in protecting the World At Large where humans dwell from the denizen of The World Under. Once his current term ends, Kal considers retiring with his beloved WWII MI-7 agent Jeanie whom he met in 1943.
BB tells Kal that former BSI agent Thomas Mace jumped to his death in San Francisco. Someone had ripped apart his intestines, but somehow Mace ran up thirty flights of stairs in five minutes, and opened and closed steel doors before leaping off the roof of a building. Kal leads the inquiry in a city where he years ago eliminated a psychopathic serial rapist magic practitioner but left innocents dead and the Bay’s protector Emperor Norton irate.
The third Hakela urban fantasy (see Things to Do in Denver When You're Un-Dead) is a superb entry as the lone wolf goes into the field with no additional support from a depleted BSI and three major changes in his life. He no longer obsesses with rage over killing monsters; he has Jeanie in his life though she currently works a case in the Bayou; and he learned people care about his well-being after volunteers joined him in Vegas. One thing remains the same; Mark Everett Stone provides another intelligent, wry action-packed satire that will have fans waiting for the next stop on the Hakela Americana tour. Harriet Klausner