Release Date: August 7, 2012
Buying Links: Amazon The Book Depository Barnes & Noble
Book Blurb (from goodreads):
Recent college grad Alex Conner is thrilled to have landed a job as the Hughes County coroner/medical examiner in Pierre, South Dakota. But when her first day on the job ends with a missing corpse, Alex starts to wonder if she would have been better off collecting unemployment...
When the cops made some cryptic comments about being careful with the body they brought in, Alex just thought the boys in blue were messing with her. That is, until something freaky happens that no amount of med school could have prepared her for. By the time Alex gets herself together, the body has disappeared and the other residents of the morgue start talking her ear off.
After working up the courage to report the missing body, Alex is transferred to the mysterious Precinct 13 where she discovers that her new co-workers—including a cute technomage named Jack—are paranormals just like her. Now, Alex is being encouraged to use her ability to speak to the dead to solve crimes. And despite being in the middle of nowhere, Hughes County sure does have a lot of paranormal activity…
The bag dropped suddenly to the ground when the breeze shifted. There was something eerie about it, that was certain. But was it magic? Jack had told me that I'd been seeing magic my whole life, but had been told not to talk about it. In effect, I'd been trained not to see, not to believe.
The bag skittered along the ground. Like some kind of strange, urban animal, it scooted behind the corner of the building, out of sight.
I decided there was definitely something creepy and weird about all this. I would keep an open mind.
Reviewed By: Bea
I've read Hallaway before and didn't really enjoy it; her humor didn't appeal to me. But I liked the sound of this book, a sort of CSI/X-Files but with overt paranormal elements. I'm glad I decided to read it, I enjoyed it. The pacing was clunky at times and there were times that I wished Hallaway wouldn't dribble out info like it was going extinct but overall, it was enjoyable.
Alex has recently moved to South Dakota and on a dare, ran for the position of coroner, and to her surprise, won. In the past she's had mental problems and now she's trying to start over. But it turns out those "mental" problems were really Alex seeing magical beings. When Alex first encounters magic in Pierre, she's afraid she's losing it again. Even meeting other magic practitioners doesn't convince her at first but she comes to believe and begins to explore her own magical ability. There's a caste system for magic users and to her dismay, Alex is distinctly in the lowest, allegedly inferior, caste.
It's an intriguing world, with characters who are likable and an interesting magic system. The mysteries are meh, and the Precinct police seemed incompetent at times but Hallaway made that latter part of the story and accounts for it. There are some twists and turns, a few predictable events, but Hallaway writes an engaging story. On her website she mentions that this may be the start of a new series. I hope so, I'd enjoy reading more about these characters and seeing how she pulls off a magical community in such a small town.
I received both an ARC and a finished copy from the publisher for review. The review is based on the finished copy.