Author: Kelley Armstrong
Publication: Dutton Adult (July 27, 2010)
Description: At twenty-one, Savannah Levine-orphaned daughter of a notorious dark witch and an equally notorious cutthroat sorcerer-considers herself a full-fledged member of the otherworld. The once rebellious teen has grown into a six-foot-tall, motorcycle-riding jaw-dropper, with an impressive knowledge of and ability to perform spells. The only problem is, she's having a hard time convincing her adoptive parents, Paige and Lucas, to take her seriously as an adult. She's working as the research assistant at the detective agency they founded, and when they take off on a romantic vacation alone, leaving her in charge, Savannah finds herself itching for a case to call her own. (She's also itching for Adam, her longtime friend and colleague, to see her as more than just a little girl, but that's another matter.)
Suddenly, Savannah gets the chance she's been waiting for: Recruited by another supernatural detective, she travels to Columbus, Washington, a small, dying town. Two troubled young women have been found in an abandoned warehouse, murdered. Now a third woman's dead, and on closer inspection small details point to darker forces at play. Savannah feels certain she can handle the case, but with signs of supernatural activity appearing at every turn, things quickly become more serious- and far more dangerous-than she realizes.
My Thoughts: This was a fast paced mystery. Savannah is a great combination of confidence and insecurity. She wants to prove herself as a private investigator. She knows a lot about the supernatural world but not as much about working with ordinary humans. Luckily, she finds that there is quite a bit supernatural going on in Columbus.
There is quite a large cast of characters in this story. Important characters include the mother and young daughter of one of the first dead girls, the brother of the last dead girl who is also a detective and romantic possibility for Savannah, a cult that bakes cookies with a charismatic older man and a variety of young women, the local witch and her creepy abusive husband, and a half demon who convinces Savannah to take the case in the first place. Some of our old friends from other books appear briefly including Jamie Vega, Paige, and Adam.
My favorite character is 9-year-old Kayla who is the daughter of one of the first victims and who is also investigating the crime with her junior detective kit. Savannah sees a lot of herself in Kayla. She is an odd child, surrounded by adults and acts older than her age. Her mother's irresponsibility, drug use, and lifestyle has matured her too early.
I will admit that I had a pretty good idea who the villain was about halfway through the book but I had no idea why until the end. Speaking of the end, I thought the ending was rather abrupt and absolutely demands a sequel. I'll be looking for it.
I started a cover spell, but Tina had already spotted me. I considered a knockback spell - make her trip and give me time to escape. But that would, sadly, not be a good way to launch my week playing a responsible adult.Challenges: Paranormal Reading Challenge, RYOB Reading Challenge