Kat Richardson's debut novel -- equal parts urban fantasy and supernatural whodunit -- introduces Harper Blaine, a Seattle-based private investigator whose life is turned upside down when an assault leaves her clinically dead for almost two minutes. When she is brought back to life, she realizes that she can see otherworldly entities not visible to the normal world. Still coming to grips with her newfound abilities but forced to return to her job, Blaine accepts two very different cases: one involving the disappearance of a college student, the other revolving around the retrieval of a missing heirloom. Both undertakings, however, have strong supernatural underpinnings; the missing student turns out to be a newly created vampire who was forcibly brought over by a psychopathic bloodsucker, and the wayward artifact is actually a paranormal time bomb. Blaine is forced to utilize her singular ability to travel through the Grey (the realm between the physical and spiritual worlds) to bring both cases to non-apocalyptic conclusions. But how can a fledgling Greywalker go up against an insanely powerful sociopathic vampire and his undead minions and hope to survive?
Free of the base gimmickry and thematic clichés that plague many genre-hybrid novels, Richardson's narrative unfolds in a voice that is clear, clean, clever, and confident. The release of Greywalker places her firmly in the stratosphere with top-rate genre-blending storytellers like Jim Butcher, Laurell K. Hamilton, and Charlaine Harris. Here is a brilliant start to what should be a long-lived and wildly entertaining series. Paul Goat Allen
From Barnes & Noble's Heart to Heart
Kat Richardson makes a strong debut with this urban noir mystery/fantasy tinged with romance. It features Harper Blaine, whose two minutes of death has changed her life. Oh, she's still a P.I. in Seattle, but now she has places to go, vampires to see. As a consequence of her mini death, Harper has become a Greywalker, one who can navigate the borderland between the normal world and the world of vampires. Her practice has gone weird, too. Two seemingly normal cases -- finding a missing son and recovering a family heirloom -- have supernatural aspects. The missing son turns out to be a vampire, living in a car in Pioneer Square. The heirloom turns out to have a malevolent power. Harper picks up a new support team, including an attractive auctioneer who's crazy about her. Harper ends up taking on Seattle's fiercest bloodsucker and resolving her own identity crisis in the process. Fans of Charlaine Harris will want to pick this up. Ginger Curwen