Dead Spots - Melissa F. Olson
If you’re a normal person and your job is crime scene clean-up, you are either legit or work for the mob. But you happen to be a unique supernatural being known as a Null and you do crime scene clean-up…probably not as legit. Hell, work for the mob would probably be more legit than what this chick does for a living…
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.
This is a book that hung around on my Kindle for a long while. I don’t know how long. I remember it being recommended to me. I found it on Amazon on sale and bought it. And then not much after that. Until one afternoon, was flipping through my collection of Kindle books and saw this book. Nice title and cover. Sure, I thought. Why Not? I picked it because I was waiting for some reserved library books to come in. And can I say? Pleasantly surprised.
Scarlett Bernard as a character is a good one. There is no wishy-washiness in any of her decisions. She gets scared, expresses it, but then still manages to control her fear. She is street wise and knows that her bosses, are dangerous and that she is expendable. Her employers, who include the head of the Los Angeles vampires, werewolves, and witches , know her work and trust her ability to make quick work of the messes caused by the supernatural community.
Until…well, this incident in the park where she's surronded by three dead bodies and holding a large heavy duty trash bag by an LAPD Homicide dectective...
What I loved most about this book is how Scarlett handles herself. She works for supernatural baddies and, sure she’s sassy, but she’s not sassy to the ones that sign her check or can you know, kill her and then get rid of the body no problem. And when she’s confronted with being framed for the murder in the park on both sides (supernatural and regular folks), Scarlett doesn’t freak out. Well, she freaks out a little. A lot. But privately. In her room with the door closed. When she faces the world, she has her game face on. And when it all comes down to it in the end, man, is she a total badass with her magic nullifying abilities.
I did have one issue with this book (isn’t there always one issue with any book you read??). It was with Detective Jesse Cruz. And it’s not his fault in the least. He’s a pretty good character, a nice foil to Scarlett with him being all by the book and her, well you know, technically involved in criminal activities that involved destroying evidence. He had a nice, good looking head on his shoulders. But, I didn’t really like it when it suddenly shifted to his point of view. Why you ask? Well, because the writing style totally changed. It went from Scarlett’s first person POV, to a third person POV of what’s going on inside of Jesse’s head. It just felt…weird. So, no fault of Jesse’s character, I like him. I just can’t stand the tense change and the point of view switch a-roo.
It was awesome to read about a strong female character who is a little outside the normal in the urban fantasy genre that I love. Scarlett has a natural interaction with all the characters she meets. There is nothing forced and seems out of place with her mannerisms and attitude. She’s normal stuck with a tragic past and with a path in life that she feels destined and stuck with as a Null. The action scenes where well written and the tension built up perfectly and you don’t see the true villain until it hits Scarlett square in the face. Love being surprised along with the hero.
The urban fantasy is a nice, fast pace, and original take on the typical werewolf/vampire/witch world. And yes, this is a series, and yes…I already have book two, just waiting to be read.
Until next time! Thanks for reading.
Remember to be yourself. Unless you can be a pirate...then always being a pirate!