ARC Review: The Taken by Vicki Pettersson

Murder Investigation ROCKABILLY Style

Title: The Taken
Author: Vicki Pettersson
Series: Celestial Blues #1
Publisher: Harper Voyager
Release Date: June 12, 2012

He’s a fallen angel. She’s a rockabilly reporter. Together they must solve a deadly string of murders plaguing the mortal and the immortal worlds.

Griffin Shaw used to be a PI, but that was over fifty years ago when gumshoes hoofed the streets . . . and he was still alive. Now he’s a Centurion, an angel who assists other murdered souls through their journey to the afterlife. But while Shaw might be an angel … he’s no saint. Haunted by the mysterious events surrounding his own death, he seizes a chance to wreak some vengeance when he witnesses a deadly attack on journalist Katherine “Kit” Craig.

Joining forces, the unlikely avengers take to the streets, hunting a killer whose trail of bodies stretches across Las Vegas and into an immortal netherworld. It is a dangerous trek that lead them into the darkest corners of Sin City and into the heart of an evil conspiracy extending beyond the lights of the Strip that could destory them both.

But destruction isn’t the only threat Griffin faces. The closer he gets to Kit, the more he finds himself bewitched by her mortal charms. Can he resist falling under her spell? And does he want to?

“You know. People treasure the moments in their lives because they know those times will soon be gone. A normal person like that girl over there focuses on the present because even if she doesn’t acknowledge it, death still looms in her future.”

The Taken begins with a murder and leads us on an investigation that kept me intrigued and guessing until the very end. Originally I thought I was going to be reading a new paranormal romance series but upon completing this book, I’m going to place it in the Urban Fantasy genre with plenty of mystery to discover. Clearly this series is going to be greatly appreciated by readers that enjoy the Rockabilly era, intelligent detective skills, characters with integrity and an engaging and colorful plot.

“Money is the invisible elephant in every bedroom, Mr. Shaw. You’d do well to remember that.”

A Centurion is a low level angel that maintains the job of escorting the souls of tragic deaths to their final resting place, called the Everlast. Well that’s exactly what Griff Shaw is, and he can relate to these souls despite his brazen and pompous attitude since he tragically lost his life when he was murdered fifty years ago. Griff is purely motivated by vengeance and he seeks it relentlessly. His wife Evie was murdered while he lay witness prior to being executed himself and he’s determined to solve the murder of his wife’s murder as well as his own. This vengeance is what keeps Griff retaining such a low level angel status. I’m drawn to his moody, arrogant, tortured attitude while he wears a fedora, and a pompadour.

Unfortunately Griff does something he’s forbidden to do that has ultimately sealed Kitt’s fate and do he must decide whether to team up with her to solve the murder of her best friend therefore saving Kitt’s life or let fate take its course. This is where the working relationship between Kit and Griff begins and Pettersson leads us readers into a fascinating world, of dark, mysterious, gritty, graphic and violent crime investigations  against women

“Do you want to know what the difference is between sex for money and sex for free, Mr . Shaw?” “Sex for money always costs less.”

Kit Craig is a sassy yet snarky reporter that I enjoyed thoroughly as the story progressed. I found her charming and in many ways she reminded me of a Vasser girl pin-up style character with a Lois Lane-esque vibe to her. It’s not very often do we read about a female reporter in an urban fantasy mystery plot. With this being said, I found myself eager to know more about Kit as well as aching for Griff to see just how incredibly charming she really truly is. However, the romance is subtle with a very slowly progression leading me to think its coming in future installments.

“Marie was one of my first acquisitions,” Chambers said, as she strode away. “She’s worked her way up in my esteem because, like a good bitch, she’s learned to take orders. Sit. Stay. Shut up.”

I expected The Taken to be dark and gritty, but I didn’t expect to be taken on a journey investigating a prostitution rink. The plot was engaging, and descriptive with plenty colorful and vivid details. I enjoyed how Kit and Griff are such polar opposites that I found that they complemented eachither immensely, Its was unique and these original elements captivated me and I flew through this book rather quickly than I expected. I’ll admit with the disturbing and very shocking ending I’m eagerly anticipating the next installment Vicki Peterrsson has created in Kit and Griff’s investigative world. I will definitely be reading the next book. This was my first book read by Vicki Pettersson and it won’t be my last. I thoroughly recommend this to fans of dark & gritty Urban Fantasy lovers with an engaging plot that keeps so on your toes failing to solve the mystery.

“Your love should have saved me.”

ARC provided for review by Harper Voyager for Harper Collins

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Miss Vain

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12 Responses to ARC Review: The Taken by Vicki Pettersson

  1. Samina says:

    Wow,all the Terrible Girls seems to b raving about this.must be really dark and gritty.
    I’m sure I will like it too.

    Adding to my must read list this year.

  2. Suzanne says:

    I’ve been getting fed up with angel books lately but this sounds like something completely different. Great review.

  3. I love dark stories and this one seems perfect, especially since it’s about a murder investigation and all.
    The characters seem like an interesting pair and I’m really intrigued by them. Definitely giving this one a shot when it comes out !
    Great convincing review, Miss Vain. :D

  4. I didn’t enjoy this book as much as I’d hoped. The pacing was too slow, I had a hard time connecting with the characters and there were a few major holes in the story… I am willing to give the next installment a try though just because the story is so unique. Thanks for your review, glad to be able to read a different perspective than the other negative reviews I’ve been reading.

  5. I’ve seen many who’ve loved this and many who didn’t. I hope I am one of those who love it! Great review, monkey!

  6. Emmy says:

    Yay Miss V! I actually don’t want to spoil myself by reading the review but I’m glad you liked it! I need to read it soon!

    I LOVE me some Rockabilly style! ;)

    ps> Have you gotten my emails?


  7. Jade says:

    I like the concept of this one. Sounds like a completely different world than other Angel books I’ve read. The mystery surrounding Griff’s and his wife’s deaths is interesting and I’m curious to know how the current mystery ties into all of that.

    And Kit sounds like a heroine I can enjoy. And it sounds like the chemistry between the two characters is great. I’ll have to look further into this series. Thanks for the review!

  8. I am loving the model’s retro style here. In Cat’s review I read that the heroine goes to her beauty appointments in between investigations, that’s a riot!

  9. Alexa says:

    I normally don’t love mystery plot lines but you were the one to get me into dark/gritty urban fantasy reads so I might have to add this to my wish list. Both characters sound awesome and so does the plot.

    Glad you really enjoyed this one. Thanks for the awesome review!

  10. melliane says:

    I was wondering about this one but it finally sounds very interesting, I think I need to check it now. thanks for the review

  11. Great review, Miss Vain! There have been a lot of mixed feelings over this one, but I thought the story was awesome.

  12. Pingback: 2012: #33 – The Taken (Vicki Pettersson) | Confessions of a Bibliophile

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