Monday, April 30, 2012

The Taken-Vicki Pettersson

The Taken

Vicki Pettersson

Harper Voyager, Jun 12 2012, $13.99

ISBN 9780062064646

Five decades ago Griffin Shaw private investigator was murdered. His gig is collecting the souls of murder victims like Nicole Rockwell who in spite of a crushed larynx tells him she is a photographer not a hooker who due to the movie Ghost distrusts him to Take her soul to Everlast. Unable to resist a crying female; he breaks the rules and allows her to change her clothing; allowing Anas of the Powers angels to claim the soul. Griff’s efforts to prevent the theft angers Anas who clips his wings and returns him to life in a skin of sin.

Nicole’s friend Las Vegas reporter Katherine “Kit” Craig arrives as Griff flees. Kit and Nicole were working on a child prostitution ring. Meanwhile Griff figures since he is being punished by the heavenly powers, he will investigate the cold case murders of himself and his wife Evie. However, he is given one last chance to regain his heavenly status: he must collect the soul of Kit Craig whose guilt and obsession to avenge her friend’s death has her facing death. Falling in love Griff cannot deliver though it means damnation.

This is an engaging romantic urban fantasy as Vicki Pettersson deftly exaggerates the traits of the hard boiled 1950s detective with a soft boiled heart and the go into hell for a story reporter (Rosalind Russell in His Girl Friday). The paranormal hierarchy contains a uniqueness that is two-sword as the premise enables the reader to understand Griff’s “sin” and the universe he works, but the complexity of the Pettersson pantheon also slows down the storyline while never explaining his “fickleness” between Evie and Kit. Still this is an entertaining paranormal as two souls defy heaven.

Harriet Klausner

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