My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Wow. That about sums up my thoughts on this debut novel from Charlie Adhara. It’s simply brilliant. A complex plot embracing the paranormal in combination with a police procedural, murder mystery and a romantic suspense element, could have been a hot mess.
But this narrative sparkles, it shoots along at a pace, carefully pulling all the threads together into an epic denouement which, while I saw the protagonists coming for a while, is still fraught with the necessary tension to make you try and read faster to get to the conclusion.
It’s also, whether deliberate or not on the part of the author, quietly political allegory, dealing as it does with the distrust of something different, something powerful that can’t be easily controlled or pigeonholed, and it reminded me a lot of the unrest happening across the world with minorities of race, sexuality, ethnicity, gender and so much more.
Ultimately, it’s also a quiet love story, between two radically different people coming from poles apart and having no middle ground other than, at first, physical attraction to anchor them.
That it becomes so much more is testament to the skilful handling of the relationship by the author. I loved these two so much, with their stumbling attraction and inability to articulate their thoughts and feelings.
The paranormal is handled well, along the same vein as in the Twilight saga for me, where a whole world of other inhabitants has comfortably existed without anyone being the wiser.
I like this approach, it’s always fascinated me how each of the disparate cultures across the world have ‘monsters’ in common which mirror werewolves and vampires, although there’s none of the later in this book.
It’s part one of a series, with the second due out in September this year, and I cannot wait to see where the author takes Cooper and Oliver and the The Trust/Bureau of Special Investigation’s new team up partnership as they solve more werewolf crimes.
#ARC kindly provided by Carina Press via NetGalley in return for an honest and unbiased review.