Scent of Shadows
by Vicki Pettersson
my copy bought from local store.
In Vicki Pettersson’s first novel, Scent of Shadows, there are more things running around the Las Vegas strip than tourists, gamblers and the occasional prostitute, but Joanna Archer, a daughter of an absent mother, heir to her father’s vast, lucrative gambling dynasty, doesn’t pay any of them much attention. The crosshairs of her camera lens seek out the forlorn, the destitute, the criminal, in search of the one man who, years ago, attacked and left her for dead in the desert. But then, a blind date turns into a crazy horror flick, when her date reveals he’s some supernatural monster, and will kill her before her birthday, twenty-four hours hence. It’s not long after this that a bum jumps in front of her car, with some wild claim of star signs, and paranormal superhero troops, and that she’s some foretold future member destined to balance the zodiac and help them keep order in her hometown.
Well, what sane girl wouldn’t know what to believe, when faced with a claim like that?
Then Joanna’s sister Olivia is attacked and thrown to her death out her high rise apartment window, and Joanna has no choice but to think there might be a shred of truth in something the crazy bum said, and so she accepts his help, joins his little “Zodiac Troop 175”; but, as always, there’s a catch: and she must not only accept the bum’s help, his instruction, and in turn gain the trust of his suspicious, more seasoned colleagues, if they are ever going to defeat their dark equivalents, she must put aside her regrets, things she fiercely wishes to hold, even her fondest passions, and face her horrid past, her father, and what’s darkest in herself.
I found Pettersson’s novel a breath of fresh air, in the urban fantasy landscape; where most of the story is a bit dark, there’s also . . . I don’t know how to put it than to say that it seemed a bit of tongue in cheek, playful, if you will. I mean, come on, really; what little girl didn’t grow up wanting to be Wonder Woman? Joanna Archer is a kick ass heroine that stands up nicely next to these icons, I think; and one everyone will love. Sure it’s a few years old by now, but do check out, Scent of Shadows. I’m sure you’ll be pleased you did so!
For more info: Vicki Pettersson’s official site
Vicki Pettersson on twitter