Dec 162013
 
Review: Dead SpotsDead Spots (Scarlett Bernard #1) by Melissa F. Olson
Narrated by: Amy McFadden
Published by Brillance Audio on Oct 30, 2012
Genres: Paranormal, Urban Fantasy
Format: Audiobook from Purchased
Find the book: Amazon, Goodreads
Rating: four-stars

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.

This was an exciting story featuring a unique paranormal skill I’ve never heard of. Scarlett is a null, which means she basically cancels out paranormal abilities within her personal bubble of space. With this ability, Scarlett is a cleaner, getting rid of paranormal-related messes so regular humans and cops don’t find them. When a cleaning goes bad, trouble ensues.

Scarlett was a great character. She’s smart and logical and very careful with her life. She’s suffered a lot of tragedy, and is basically just going through the motions of living when the story starts. Getting thrown into a murder investigation with a new assistant and a curious human cop makes her really look at her life, all while trying to solve the mystery and stay alive.

There is a budding love triangle developing, and it’s done very tastefully. Both guys are so sweet and nice. At the end of the first book, I totally sympathize with Scarlett’s inability to decide between them. The pros for both look pretty good, and the cons are livable at this point.

The murder part of the story is solved in a logical manner, and made the story enjoyable as a stand alone. But the ending has a huge twist that will definitely affect the rest of the series in a very profound way. I really enjoyed this book and need to pick up the second one right away. I need to know what happens next.

I listened to the audiobook, and the production was great. The narrator had a voice that fit Scarlett, with just the right hint of emotion and humour. It was smooth and easy to listen too. I love the accent given to Jesse, it fit and made his character stand out. I’d definitely recommend the audio version.

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