The Taken (Celestial Blues #1) by Vicki Pettersson
Publisher: Harper Voyager/June 12th, 2012
Kind thanks to Harper Voyager for providing a review copy
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 . . .
A seedy Las Vegas motel room. A dead hooker (or is she?) A lesser angel (and former PI) named Grif here for another Take. A nosy girl reporter out for vengeance. Sounds good so far, right? Oh, it totally is. When Griffin Shaw comes to collect this Take, he has no idea that it will set him on a course that will force him to examine his former life, and unlife. After a small act of kindness angers his bosses, he’s forced back into a flesh suit to investigate the beautiful Kit Craig. There’s a bit of a hitch, though. Kit is scheduled to die in only a few hours, and he’s not supposed to interfere with that. What’s a PI angel to do?
I’m a huge fan of Vicki Pettersson’s and was sorry to see her Signs of the Zodiac series end, so when I found out she was starting a new series, I couldn’t wait to dive in. In The Taken, the author has taken the angel mythos and spun it around a bit, to create her own cool-as-hell style. Kit is a delightful heroine: she’s a glass-half-full kind of gal, and compliments Grif’s gruffness perfectly. She’s a go getter, and when her longtime friend is taken from her, instead of succumbing to grief, she gets down to the business of finding her killer, at the risk of her own life. Grif finds himself simultaneously annoyed and charmed by this talkative, inquisitive woman with rockabilly style,and Kit is undeniably attracted to the enigmatic (and stylish) Grif. Grif is still hung up on his wife’s murder, fifty years ago, and hopes to find out the truth behind her death, and his, but this case is darker and more vast then even he could have imagined. Ms. Pettersson has never shied away from the darkness, and it’s in full force here. Ms. Pettersson’s ability to capture the seedy side of Vegas while never leaving her love of the city behind is always a pleasure, and she uses the city she loves to full advantage.
The Taken is a slow build, but as soon as it hits its stride, you won’t be able to put it down, and you’ll be rewarded in spades. Angels, ghosts, mobsters, romance, rockabilly,and a cabal of corruption come together explosively in a Vegas noir confection you won’t want to put down. Seriously, watch out, or you’ll get a paper cut turning those pages so fast.