Tuesday, September 4, 2012

The Taken: Supernatural Noir Mystery

The Taken
Celestial Blues, Book One
Author: Vicki Pettersson
Paperback: 432 pages
Publisher: Harper Voyager
Published: June 12, 2012
Available in Paperback and Kindle

Griffin Shaw used to be a PI, but that was back when gumshoes hoofed the streets . . . and he was still alive. Fifty years later, he's an angel, but that doesn't make him a saint. One small mistake has altered fate, and now he's been dumped back onto the mortal mudflat to collect another soul—Katherine "Kit" Craig, a journalist whose latest investigation is about to get her clipped.

Bucking heavenly orders, Grif refuses to let the sable-haired siren come to harm. Besides, protecting her offers a chance to solve the mystery of his own unsolved murder—and dole out some overdue payback for the death of his beloved wife, Evie.
Joining forces, Kit and Grif's search for answers leads beyond the blinding lights of the Strip into the dark heart of an evil conspiracy. But a ruthless killer determined to destroy them isn't Grif's biggest threat. His growing attraction to Kit could cost them both their lives, along with the answer to the haunting question of his long afterlife . . .

I've been a fan of Vicki Pettersson for years now because of her epic series, The Signs of the Zodiac. When the series ended I was completely satisfied with how she wrapped it all up, but I was sad because I didn't know when we would see something new from her. She gave hints as early as she could, and slowly revealed the deets on her next series. I was very interested, but after the cover was released I was giddy with anticipation. Rockabilly? Noir? Hard-boiled P.I.? Angels? 
A summer of teen drama and freelance writing kept me from reading The Taken until this week. I found myself nervous as I started it. What if I didn't like it? Perish the thought. I plowed in with abandon and as soon as I saw dialog like this I knew I would love it:

"Look, I'm sorry to the one to tell you, kid. But you've been rooked."

Griffin Shaw, one of the main characters, is straight out of 1950's Las Vegas. He doesn't have to shop at vintage clothing stores because he IS vintage. He still wears the Fedora he had on when he died. He's a Mickey Spillane character come to life, thrown into modern Las Vegas where nothing is at it was, which makes him a tad cranky.  He's an angel brought back to the "mudflat" to correct a mistake.

Kit Craig is a female reporter with style, finesse, and intelligence who sees the best in everyone, and refuses to let life get her down. She's the polar opposite of Griffin Shaw, and she's determined to help him while helping herself, even if he is cranky and crazy. It doesn't hurt that he looks like he stepped out the 1950's with a presence and style that takes her breath away. The Taken is truly a breath of fresh air for me, because of the writing, which blew me away, and the unique world the author has created with it's quirky characters. I can't recall ever reading this amazing mix of mystery, romance, and urban fantasy with a noir twist. It's fast paced with action in all the right places, keeping the reader on the edge of their seat.

Vicki Pettersson has the ability to bring the people and streets of Las Vegas alive, mixing the past and present together with the unseen paranormal aspects of the fictional world she has created. The Taken is dark and gritty, yet hope shines through Kit and her relationship with Griffin, taking the reader's breath away over and over.

Ms. Pettersson just released the cover for the second book in the series, The Lost, which will be released in March 2013.

To find out more about The Celestial Blues series visit here: