Sunday, May 19, 2013

Trail of Dead by Melissa E. Olson

Trail of the Dead by Melissa F. OlsonParanormal Mystery/Romance
From Goodreads:
"As a null, Scarlett Bernard possesses a rare ability to counteract the supernatural by instantly neutralizing spells and magical forces. For years she has used her gift to scrub crime scenes of any magical traces, helping the powerful paranormal communities of Los Angeles stay hidden. But after LAPD detective Jesse Cruz discovered Scarlett’s secret, he made a bargain with her: solve a particularly grisly murder case, and he would stay silent about the city’s unearthly underworld.
Now two dead witches are found a few days before Christmas, and Scarlett is once again strong-armed into assisting the investigation. She soon finds a connection between the murders and her own former mentor, Olivia, a null who mysteriously turned into a vampire and who harbors her own sinister agenda. Now Scarlett must revisit her painful past to find Olivia—unless the blood-drenched present claims her life first."
Trail of Dead is the second Scarlett Bernard Novel.  I read and reviewed the first novel, Dead Spots, in October of 2012.
Sometimes a second book is a let down.  That is not true of Trail of Dead.  If anything it is even better that Dead Spots.  One of the things that struck me this time was how two different authors can take the same premise and write books that are completely different.  In the Alexia Tarabotti novels by Gail Carriger Alexia can negate supernatural powers or when near vampires and werewolves they become normal humans.  Scarlett does the same but the stories and characters are completely different.  The fact that it took me two books to even make the comparison is proof of that.
The world building was done in Dead Spots.  The main characters are the same. Jesse, Scarlett and Eli are all part of the story but the focus has moved from Jesse and Eli to Scarlett.  Trail of Dead builds from the foundation laid in Dead Spots.  Again the writing is excellent, the plot well developed, the characters well drawn and tension builds to a satisfying conclusion.  Again, there were some unexpected twists and turns.  This book was based on a problem character from book one.  That character is now gone.  Trail of Dead could be the last Scarlett Bernard Novel but I am hoping that I saw a small set up for the next book.  I will certainly be on the look out and hoping that the series will continue.
Trail of Dead is scheduled for publication June 4, 2013.  I received an advanced reader’s copy review copy of Trail of Dead from Amazon Vine.  You should pre-order your copy now.  At 3.99 for the Kindle edition it is a bargain.
47 North will publish Trail of Dead by Melissa F. Olson in 2013.

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