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Nocturnal Book Reviews

Blogging at Nocturnal Book Reviews since May 2011 about steampunk, urban fantasy, historical & paranormal fiction, contemporary, fantasy, sci-fi & erotica.

The Taken: Celestial Blues: Book One

The Taken - Vicki Pettersson *slight spoilers ahead*

I have to say straight away that Celestial Blues is a very different series from what Miss Pettersson wrote previously, as in it's not an urban fantasy. I was expecting one and to my (pleasant) surprise discovered that The Taken was a sort of a murder mystery with slight paranormal elements and distinct noir-ish undertones.

To give it a better definition I would describe it as a love child of Carole Nelson Douglas and Chris F. Holm.

Kit Craig is a intrepid small scale journalist whose family runs a local newspaper in Vegas. She is an interesting character, a rockabilly who loves living in the style of 1950s, a brave and bright woman with very distinctive views on what's right and wrong. Her and her friend Nicole are investigating a hidden prostitution ring on the outskirts of the city when Nicole is viciously murdered in the motel where she is meeting her informant.

Here comes Griff Shaw, who was murdered in the 50s and who since then has been promoted into a Centurion whose task is to take souls of the dead and help them to cross to the other side. He takes pity on Nicole and allows her to pretty herself before they go as the soul is mortified to spend afterlife the way she looked when she died, and while he waits Nicole manages to leave a message for Kit that starts a horrible chain of reactions beginning with Griff being thrown back into the mortal coil as a punishment and Kit marked for death.

Griff who never let go of his wife's death in the first place refuses to let another beautiful young woman die and instead of not interfering aids Kit in her investigation which uncovers more and more awful, gruesome details.

This was an excellent thriller, slightly dry, intense and dark. Kit and Griff are a great team and it's a pleasure to see their interactions as their views come from very different eras. Their attraction to each other might not feel romantic on the surface and lacks grand declarations of love, but it feels sincere for the emotional state they are in and the personal demons they are battling. I see strong companionship and great detective work in the future ;)

The villains in this book are not something to be taken lightly as well. They are chillingly real and truly evil, that's why you feel such a great satisfaction when they're brought to justice.

Overall, a solid, interesting read which I recommend without any reservations.