Book Review: The Taken

The Taken

by Vicki Pettersson

The Taken This is the story of Griffin Shaw, ex-murdered-PI turned angel-grade escort into the afterlife, who makes a slight misstep and finds himself stuck back in the real world, in his former human flesh. It’s also the story of Kit Craig, a stubborn rockabilly reporter in Vegas whose best friend just got murdered following a lead (the soul Griffin was escorting). In order to get back to the heavenly plane, Grif is supposed to escort Kit’s soul when she’s killed following the same lead her friend was after. Except Grif is quite taken with Kit and decides to protect her instead, and help her with the investigation. Cue noir crime caper in modern times.

Oh, this book. I wanted to really love it. The premise was promising – a murder mystery with clear dollops of romance and paranormal, right up my alley. And to be fair, I didn’t hate it. It was ok – mildly entertaining. But it fell far short of what I’d hoped it would be after reading the back cover blurb. The author clearly has a fixation with the rockabilly lifestyle; it’s so emphasized and brought up so often regarding Kit’s character that it’s distracting and annoying. I’m pretty sure Kit spent more time getting her nails and hair done, and thinking about vintage dresses and vintage stuff for her home, than actually investigating her friend’s murder. Grif’s side of things was more well done. He was actually a fully fleshed (ba-dum-ching) character, with clear motivation and some conflicting drives. More complex, in other words, and so more believable. The author has also thought up this whole hierarchy of angels in the afterlife that we get glimpses of through Grif – that was interesting and I was curious to know more about it. The murder mystery plot itself was ok. Not the most original or surprising, but still moved along well enough to keep me engaged in reading. Overall, it’s a quick read that doesn’t take too much effort.

I give it 3/5 stars.

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The Taken

I was given a promotional copy of this book by Harper Voyager U.S. for review.