Featured Author Review: The Lost by Vicki Pettersson

by Tee Tate
The Lost (Celestial Blues, Book 2)lost
Vicki Pettersson
Harper Voyager
ISBN-10: 0062064657

Griffin Shaw and his wife were both murdered fifty years ago. Now a minor angel, Grif’s been granted permission to solve the mystery of his own death… if he helps the Pure angels guide those souls who might otherwise be Lost.

Souls like Jeap Yang, a drug addict in his final moments of life. Grif knows that death is coming, but he cannot intervene. However, Grif’s mortal lover, reporter Katherine “Kit” Craig, isn’t constrained by angelic protocol. If she can stop a death, she will.

But as Kit is about to find out, there are things more traumatic and evil than murder. A strange new drug is literally eating tweakers’ flesh from their bones, and Kit’s crusade to get it off the streets is set to propel her and Grif into a battle with a vicious drug cartel. They’ll have to scramble to stay alive, stay together, and choose their own fate… before it’s chosen for them.

In the second installment of her Celestial Blue series, Vicki Pettersson dives right back into the lives of rockabilly reporter Kit and her fella, angel, Grif. Unlike the first novel in the series, The Taken, this novel pulls back on the angelic and rockabilly cultures that have set a lush, unique universe for the novels and focuses on the struggles the couple endure–both romantic and mysterious.

While Grif is eager to discover who is at fault for his and his wife Evie’s murders, and Kit struggles with the notion of competing with the memory of a ghost, Las Vegas has been infected by a new drug, Krokodil (desomorphine). Krokodil is a vicious means of escape, one that instantly hooks its users and treats their bodies to rot and ruin. They become emaciated, their bodies dying quickly until there is nothing left but the loss of potential snuffed out from their first hit.

Kit and Grif set out to uncover the source of the drug and become entangled in a bitter drug war between  the Russian brutva and the Cuban marielitos. In the background of the story, is Grif’s constant search for his murderer. This is one element I like most about Pettersson’s writing; she has a wonderful ability to lay out several threads that, at first reading, don’t seem to add to the overall arc of the series, but eventually presents itself as essential and a subtle thread that connects the characters and their struggles.

While Pettersson has put the unique backdrop of the character’s personalities on somewhat of a back-burner, she turns the heat up on Grif and Kat’s relationship and their struggle to fit into each other’s lives.

Other elements I thoroughly enjoyed in The Lost were the small slivers of details we learn about Kit’s past, particularly the loss of her father and the driving force that inspired her to embrace the rockabilly culture.

The Lost is a fitting follow up to the series debut and leaves readers eager to get their hands on the final installment. The world Pettersson has built in the series is both familiar and fantastical, and her characters are perfectly flawed and beautifully drawn.

Fans of great mysteries, steamy love stories and classic who-done-its will enjoy this action-packed urban fantasy.

Highly Recommended

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