Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Review: Dead in the Water by Hailey Edwards

Dead in the Water
(Gemini #1)
Hailey Edwards
Release: January 30, 2016
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Camille Ellis is the Earthen Conclave’s golden girl. Her peculiar talent solves cases with a touch. She isn’t afraid of getting her hands dirty, but every bright star casts a shadow, and her deepest scars lurk just beneath the skin. 

A routine consultation goes sideways when a victim’s brother gets involved in the investigation. Riding the edge of grief, the warg will go to any lengths to avenge his sister’s death. Even if it means ensuring Cam’s cooperation at the jaws of his wolf. 

When the killer strikes again, Cam is caught between a warg and a hard place. To save the next victim, she must embrace her past. Even if it means dragging her darkest secrets into the light of day. 
I'm pleased to see Hailey Edwards return to the paranormal police procedural elements that I liked so much in the first Black Dog books. Thierry and Shaw from that series even put in an appearance at one of the crime scenes. While Camille is not exactly a marshal like they are, she's consulting with them on a Fae serial killer case. I do wish that there was an explanation of what she does for the conclave when she's not consulting on the marshals' cases though.

Camille is a Gemini, which is a Fae creature I've never seen before. She's able to identify a magical creature's species with a touch. With a drop of blood, she's able to take on their form and abilities temporarily. Gemini are also able to shift into the shape of their twins, but Camille's twin died when they were children. She's still traumatized by the death, which impacts her actions on the case quite a bit. I felt like her grief overshadowed her personality at the beginning of the book, but as she opened up I started to like her.

Cord Graeson also lost his sister, to the killer that Camille is tracking. He insinuates himself into her investigation and then into her life in a very typical alpha male way. Cord is the Beta, second in command, of a Warg (werewolf) pack and in some ways this book starts to feel like a standard shifter romance. He's possessive, controlling, and not always concerned about Camille's consent. Despite all that, he's not entirely unlikable. And Camille forgives a lot of that behavior, though she's mostly unaware that there's a romance at all. I am curious about how their relationship will develop, especially after what happened at the end of the book.

Edwards once again introduces a wide variety of creatures that I don't see very often, which was something I really enjoyed about the Black Dog books. This one has a mermaid, some other interesting water Fae, and even hedgehog shifters!

Even though it's a full-length novel, Dead in the Water feels like a serial release with elements of the story still unresolved at the end. Fortunately, it's also being treated like one with only a few months in between books - books two, Head Above Water, is out in April. I enjoyed the story so far and I'm excited to see where it goes.

Recommended for fans of: Edwards's Black Dog series, Bayou Blues by Sierra Dean

ARC provided by the publisher via Netgalley

3 1/2  stars

My reviews of  books in the Black Dog series:
Dog with a Bone
Heir of the Dog
Lie Down with Dogs

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