Dead Spots by Melissa F. Olson


Dead Spots is a very good first book and another one I had doubts about until I started reading.  47 North is the publisher and this is another of Amazon’s publishing companies.  I have had mixed results with their books but this one is first rate.

Here is a summary:

A woman with the ability to counteract magic is in a race against time–and the supernatural underworld–to catch a killer before another body drops.

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.

Here is my opinion on different parts of the book.

Plot:  This is an intricate and complex plot.  It kept me guessing until the very end.  Expect to be surprised.  It even set up the next book in the series in a the context of everything that happened in Dead Spots

World building:  I really liked how the author handled building this world.  Information arrived just when you needed it and in a way that fit into the plot.  I never felt like anything was just dropped in.  Things were revealed in ways that fit and were a part of the story.  This is a paranormal world and it was explained in a logical and believable manner.

Back-story:  There had to be a lot of back-story included in the world building.  There was just enough to allow me to know the what and why of things.  Again it was a part of the story and did not intrude on story flow.

Characters:  There were really three main characters; Scarlett, Jesse and Eli.  Scarlett is the main character.  She is very well-drawn and comes from a difficult back ground, is likeable, and seems to be drifting through life.  Eli is just loveable.  He cares for Scarlett even though she things he is just using her.  Jesse on the other hand is the very clean all American type.  There is a slight triangle here.  There are a number of important side characters.  Each had just the right amount of development to fit in the story. 

Writing:  I was really impressed with the writing.  Everything was laid out in a logical manner.  I did not see one place where things did not flow smoothly.  Characters, back-story, world building, tension and plotting all meshed into a smooth whole. 

Tension:  There was plenty of tension in this story.  Scarlett blamed herself of a lot of things in the past causing her a lot of internal tension.  There was the murder and the deadline for solving that ramped up the external tension.  There was the tension between the characters that added to that external tension.  All in all a satisfactory balance between external and internal factors moving the story.

I do not hesitate to recommend this book to anyone who loves paranormal books. Dead Spots is a well- written book that tells an excellent story.

47 North published Dead Spots by Melissa F. Olson in 2012.

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