Saturday, November 3, 2012

ARC Review: Dead Spots by Melissa F. Olson

Dead Spots
Author: Melissa F. Olson
Publication: 47North (October 30, 2012)

Description: Scarlett Bernard knows about personal space: step within ten feet of her, and any supernatural spells or demonic forces are instantly defused—vampires and werewolves become human again, and witches can’t get out so much as a “hocus pocus.” This special skill makes her a null and very valuable to Los Angeles’s three most powerful magical communities, who utilize her ability to scrub crime scenes clean of all traces of the paranormal to keep humanity, and the LAPD, in the dark.

But one night Scarlett’s late arrival to a grisly murder scene reveals her agenda and ends with LAPD’s Jesse Cruz tracking her down to strike a deal: he’ll keep quiet about the undead underworld if she helps solve the case. Their pact doesn’t sit well with Dash, the city’s chief bloodsucker, who fears his whole vampire empire is at stake. And when clues start to point to Scarlett, it’ll take more than her unique powers to catch the real killer and clear her name.

My Thoughts: If you are looking for a different kind of paranormal, DEAD SPOTS is for you. Our heroine Scarlett Bernard is a Null. When she gets withing ten feet of any paranormal creature, either vampire or werewolf, they turn human. She is very rare. She only knows of six other Nulls in the world.

Scarlett works cleaning up crimes committed by supernaturals. But one day she is called to the most gruesome crime she has ever seen. Someone has tortured and killed three vampires. The head of the Los Angeles vampires Dashiell needs someone to blame for the crime in order to keep his standing in the community. He picks Scarlett because only a Null could have made it possible for the vampires to be killed. He gives her a deadline to find the real criminal or he will execute her for the crime.

Luckily, Scarlett doesn't have to work alone. A newly minted detective named Jesse Cruz sees her at the crime scene and tracks her down. Because he finds out about the Old World, he is also scheduled to die if they can't find the true criminal. And Scarlett has the assistance of Eli who is a werewolf. Eli likes hanging around with Scarlett because he hates being a werewolf and Scarlett makes him human. Scarlett isn't so sure she likes being used and she is very good at avoiding any sort of emotional connection to people.

The three of them have to follow a lot of clues, deal with a variety of supernaturals, and find the criminal before Scarlett's time runs out. The story was well-paced. Scarlett was an interesting person who is dealing with a lot of past trauma but who has a sort of courage that she defines as stubbornness. Scarlett also grew a lot during this story as she began to overcome the trauma that kept her from connecting with other people.

Fans of paranormals will enjoy this suspenseful and entertaining story.

Favorite Quote:
I can't remember anything about the funeral home or the service, or how I got to the cemetery. It was like one minute I was leaving the station with Jack, then there was a blur of tears, then we were looking down at the coffins as they were lowered into the earth. I kept thinking they weren't just holes in the ground, they were holes in the world. Like once there was a space occupied by my mom and dad, and then that space had been violently punched out, leaving a raw hole with ragged edges. The whole world must be full of scars, I thought dizzily. I was only eighteen.
I received that ARC through the Amazon Vine program. You can buy your copy here.

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