Memory Zero (Spook Squad Series #1)

Memory Zero (Spook Squad Series #1)

by Keri Arthur

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780345539090
Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
Publication date: 08/26/2014
Series: Spook Squad Series , #1
Sold by: Random House
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 400
Sales rank: 36,322
File size: 3 MB

About the Author

Keri Arthur, author of the New York Times bestselling Riley Jenson Guardian series, has written more than two dozen books. She’s received several nominations in the Best Contemporary Paranormal category of the Romantic Times Reviewers’ Choice Awards and recently won RT’s Career Achievement Award for urban fantasy. She lives with her daughter in Melbourne, Australia.

Read an Excerpt

One

 

 

 

It was the type of night only the dead could enjoy—as dark as hell, and as warm as the Antarctic. Add to that the bonus of rain bucketing down, and it was no wonder the streets were deserted.

 

Well, almost deserted, Sam amended, glancing at the alleyway across the street. An old man in a threadbare coat rummaged through the garbage bins that were lined up behind the Chinese restaurant, filling a plastic bag with God knows what. And not five minutes ago, two prostitutes had come knocking on her car’s window, their faces almost blue with cold as they’d tried to convince her to take them for a ride. Their expressions, when she’d flashed her badge, were almost relieved. But then, a warm cell block was certainly more enticing than trying to ply their trade on a night like this. Had she not been waiting for her partner to turn up, she might have taken them downtown and charged them with soliciting, just to get them off the street and warm again. Prostitution might be legal these days, but it was restricted to certain areas, and this particular street wasn’t one of them.

 

But she’d had no choice except to let them go with a warning. To say they weren’t happy with this stroke of fortune was an understatement. Obviously, they’d been looking forward to being locked up in a warm cell. And right now, she knew exactly how they felt. Even a cup of the shocking coffee they served at the station house would be heaven right now.

 

She glanced down at the onboard computer and noted it was already after three. If her goddamn partner didn’t turn up soon, she was heading home. Why the hell he’d insisted on meeting in this ratty section of the city in the first place was beyond her. It wasn’t even close to their patrol zone.

 

Sighing, she crossed her arms and glanced out the driver’s-side window again. A plastic bag tumbled down the road, ghostlike in the darkness. Unease pricked across her skin, though she wasn’t sure why. Maybe it was just nerves. After all, it wasn’t every night she got an urgent call from a man who’d been missing for weeks. And it certainly wasn’t every night that she went against department policy and agreed to a secret meeting. 

 

She glanced back to the alley. The old man had disappeared. While she knew he’d probably just moved beyond her line of sight, that vague sense of unease increased. She stared through the rain-washed darkness, watching for some form of movement that would indicate the old man was still there.

 

Nothing.

 

And instinct was insisting something was very wrong in that alley.

 

She rubbed a hand across her eyes and silently cursed her partner’s tardiness. She didn’t need this, not after a fifteen-hour shift—and especially not in a patrol zone that wasn’t hers. Just thinking about the extra paperwork made her head ache. 

 

Still . . . 

 

She leaned forward and pressed the locater switch. The onboard computer hummed to life, producing a map of the immediate vicinity. The only way out of the alley, besides the entrance she could see, was via a fire escape on the building that housed the Chinese restaurant. She stabbed a finger at the screen, and the computer immediately listed other occupants. The top two floors were empty, but the second floor was rented to an R. C. Clarke. A quick background check revealed nothing more than the fact that he was an accountant with a clean record. For several seconds, she blindly watched the rain race down the glass. It was very wet out there. But the sooner she got out and investigated, the sooner she could get back to the relative warmth of this icebox they had the cheek to call a squad car. 

 

With a slight grimace, she opened the glove compartment and retrieved her wristcom. In reality, it wasn’t just a communications unit, but more a two-inch-wide minicomputer capable of doing just about everything but make coffee. She wasn’t supposed to be using it after hours, but there was no way she was going into that alley without it. Not when unease sat like a lead weight in her belly. If things went wrong, she wanted an electronic record of everything that happened. 

 

After fastening the unit onto her wrist, she flicked the record button, checked that it was working, then collected her gun and climbed out of the car. As the door automatically locked behind her, she zipped up her jacket and eyed the dark alley. It was quite possible that this was some sort of setup. In the last few weeks, five detectives had disappeared, one of them Jack, her partner. And while he’d finally contacted her earlier this evening, it was extremely odd that he’d called neither headquarters nor Suzy, his wife. She knew, because she’d checked.

 

It worried her. 

 

And it was what held her still, even as the drenching rain sluiced off her coat and soaked through her boots. Jack loved Suzy more than life itself, and there was no way he’d contact Sam before he contacted his wife. 

 

Though the fact that he had would only add fuel to Suzy’s almost obsessive jealousy. Suzy had always resented Jack’s closeness to his partner, and while Sam respected Jack’s relationship with his wife, she’d never warmed to the woman.

 

The wind lifted her hair and wrapped icy fingers around her neck. She shivered, but it had nothing to do with the cold. Suddenly, the night felt very wrong. 

 

Which was crazy. It was probably just the cold, the rain, and her severe need for sleep. If Jack hadn’t made an appearance by the time she checked the alley, she was going home. She didn’t need to be involved in another of his stupid games, in the dead of night, after a very long shift. If he wanted to talk to her, he could do so during the day. He knew where she lived—and knew he was welcome there anytime. She clipped the gun to her belt. Its familiar weight offered a sense of comfort from the uneasiness that still stirred through her as she walked across the road.

 

The rain eased a little as she entered the alley, but the wind danced through the darkness with a forlorn moan that made the hairs on the back of her neck stand on end. She hesitated, her gaze skating across the shadows. The old man’s possessions were strewn across the ground near the garbage bins. They amounted to little more than a few old books, a couple of credit cards, and the scraps of food he’d ferreted out of the bin. 

 

She bent and picked up the cards. The names on them were all different—Joseph Ramsey, Tom King, Jake George. Obviously, the old guy had not been above a little credit fraud. She dropped the cards, then stepped across the books and cautiously walked deeper into the alley. The darkness was blanket heavy, but her eyes slowly adjusted. Shapes loomed through the ink of night. On the right side of the alley, a dozen or so large boxes were stacked haphazardly against a graffiti-covered wall, and to her left was the fire escape that zigzagged up the restaurant wall.

 

She walked past the rusted metal ladder, then stopped. With the full force of the wind blocked by the buildings on either side, the smells that permeated the alley came into their own. Rotting rubbish, puddles of stale water, and the faintest hint of human excrement all combined into a stomach-churning stench. She shuddered and tried breathing through her mouth rather than her nose, but it didn’t help much. 

 

Twenty feet away the alley came to a dead end, blocked by a wall at least fifteen feet high. Unless the old guy had springs for legs, or wings hidden under his threadbare coat—both of which were certainly possible in this day and age—there was no way he could have gotten over it. She glanced across to the boxes. It didn’t make any sense for him to be hiding there, either—especially when he’d have to have abandoned his belongings to do so. Most street people clung to their few possessions with a ferocity only death could shatter. Besides, the rain had turned the boxes into a sodden mass that would have collapsed with the slightest touch.

 

Which left only the fire escape.

 

She glanced up. Moisture dripped from above, splattering across her face. She wiped it away with her palm, then frowned and glanced down. Why did the rain suddenly feel warm?

 

In her heart, she knew the answer to that question even as it crossed her mind. Grimly, she pressed a small switch on her wristcom. Light flared from the unit—a pale yellow that glowed uneasily against the darkness. She raised her arm and shined the light on the metal walkway above her. 

 

Just as she’d thought, it wasn’t rain dripping down from the fire escape, but blood. But there wasn’t a body—or, at least, not one that she could see from where she stood.

 

For a moment, she considered contacting headquarters about a possible homicide. But Jack had asked her to come here alone, had specifically asked her not to contact them. She didn’t understand why and, in the end, she didn’t really care. He’d been her partner for close to five years, and she trusted him more than she trusted the boneheads and politicians back at headquarters.

 

Wiping her palm down her thigh, she reached back for her gun. Then slowly, cautiously, she began to climb. 

 

Three flights up she found the old man. He’d been thrown against the far edge of the landing, his body a broken and bloody mass that barely resembled anything human. She closed her eyes and took a deep breath. Death was never easy. In her ten years on the force, she’d come across many of its faces, yet it still had the power to shock her. 

 

Especially when it was as gruesome as this. 

 

The old man’s eyes were wide with fear, his mouth locked in a scream that would never be heard. His flesh had been stripped from his face, leaving a bloody mass of raw veins and muscle. No vampire had done this. In fact, none of the nonhuman species currently on record were capable of an act like this.

 

She took another deep breath, then knelt by the old man’s side and felt his neck. No pulse, as expected, but his skin was still very warm. The murderer had to be close. 

 

Really close.

 

Metal creaked above her. Her pulse rate zooming, she grabbed her gun and twisted around, sights aimed at the landing above her. Nothing moved. No one came down the stairs. The wind moaned loudly, but nothing else could be heard beyond the harsh echo of her breathing.

 

Cautiously, she rose and walked back to the ladder. One more flight and she’d reach the rooftop. Whoever, or whatever, had done that to the old man might still be up there.

 

She had to call for backup. There was no other choice, not in a situation like this. Pressing the communication switch, she waited for a response and quickly asked for help. The closest unit was seven minutes away.

 

Her gaze went back to the landing above her and she bit her lip. Was there anyone up there? Was Jack up there? Or was this all some sort of weird setup? No, she thought. He wouldn’t do that to her. And it had been him on the comlink. Her security system had identified his voice. So the fact that the old man had been murdered at the same time she was supposed to have met her partner had to be coincidence. 

 

But where was Jack?

 

She glanced down at her wristcom. It was twenty-nine minutes past three. It wasn’t unusual for him to be late. In the five years she’d known him, the only thing he’d managed to be on time for was his wedding.

 

Maybe he was here. Maybe he was a victim of the creature who’d destroyed the old man. 

 

Panic surged at the thought. God, she couldn’t risk the wait for backup, not when Jack’s life might be at stake. She had to go on. She had to try and find him. If the department decided to discipline her for leaving a crime scene, then so be it. As long as she found her partner safe and sound, she didn’t really give a damn.

 

As she reached the rooftop, the full force of the wind hit her, thrusting her back a step before she regained her balance. Shivering, she dragged her coat zipper all the way up her neck, but it didn’t stop the rain from getting past the collar and trickling down her back. 

 

“This is great, just great,” she muttered, wiping the water from her eyes—a totally useless gesture, given the conditions. 

 

Visibility was practically zero. If there was someone up here with her, all he had to do was remain still and she’d never even see him. With a final, regretful glance at the alley below her, she moved forward across the rooftop. After a dozen steps, a dark, boxlike shape loomed out of the grayness. Stairs to the rooms below, presumably.

 

She found a door and tested it cautiously. The handle turned. With her back to the wall, gun raised, she pushed the door open and listened for any sign of movement. Still nothing.

 

Yet instinct told her the murderer had to be inside. There was nowhere else he could be, nowhere else he really could have come from. Unless, of course, he could fly. But if he could fly, why would he have used the fire escape? Why wouldn’t he have just dragged the old man’s body down to the end of the alley rather than up the stairs, then flown away?

 

No, he was here, down those stairs, somewhere. 

 

She switched the com-unit’s light back on, then crossed her wrists, holding the gun and light to one side of her body as she edged forward.

 

The light gleamed off the metal stairs and puddled against the deeper darkness of the room. Three steps down, she halted again, listening. The silence was so intense it felt as if she could reach out and touch it. With unease growing, she frowned and edged down the remaining steps.

 

In the small circle of light she could see several stacks of chairs lined up against the wall. Beyond that were the vague shapes of upturned tables. Obviously, someone was using the empty floor as a storage facility. She moved across to the first stack of chairs and stopped again.

 

Something hit her—an invisible force that came out of the darkness to slam her back against the wall. Her breath left in a whoosh of air, and for several heartbeats, she saw stars. Then her senses seemed to explode outward. Just for an instant, the darkness became something that was real, something that had flavor and taste and body. And then she realized that it did have bodies, and that she was sensing its inhabitants through every pore and fiber of her being. As if, in that one moment, she inhabited the skins of the beings out there in the shadows, learning their secrets, feeling their thoughts. 

 

One of those who hid in the shadows was a vampire.

 

The other wasn’t human, wasn’t vampire, and wasn’t anything she actually recognized. But it was filled with an evil so complete it seemed to seep into her very bones and made her soul shake.

 

The sensation then disappeared with a snap that left her weak and shaking. She collapsed onto her knees and took a deep, shuddering breath. What the hell had happened? Never in her life had she experienced anything so weird . . . or so frightening. For a brief moment, she’d become one with those others. Had felt the uneven pounding of their hearts, the rush of blood through their veins. Had felt their desire to kill seep through her being and become her own.

 

She wiped a trembling hand across her brow. The sooner backup got here, the better. A vampire intent on grievous bodily harm she could handle. That other thing, whatever it was, tipped the odds way too far in favor of the bad guys. 

 

She forced herself upright, pressing her back against the wall as she listened to the silence. Still no sound or movement. Warily, she took a step toward the stairs and then stopped. A light prickling sensation ran across her skin.

 

Someone approached.

 

Not understanding what was happening, she nevertheless clicked the safety off her gun and held it at the ready. “Police! Come out with your hands up.”

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Memory Zero (Spook Squad Series #1) 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 22 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I have read all of her Riley Jensen books so decided to try this one too. I must say it is just as good or maybe better than the Riley Jensen books.
kDreamer More than 1 year ago
Kindof J.D. Robbs 'In Death' series meets Carrie Vaughn's Kitty or Jim Butchers Dresden files. Set in the future (or alien world) with vampires, shape changes and other species this is a good read. Repeats a few things, but it's the 1st in the series and I definitely want to see it continue.
ljparker2983 More than 1 year ago
Nice journey.
ToryMichaels More than 1 year ago
I don't know how Ms. Arthur keeps her alternate Earth stories separate. I'm a passionate reader of hers and in the different series, there are I believe at least 3 distinct story worlds. All similar, but with their own spin on things. Memory Zero kicks off yet another one (and is again a reprint of an earlier release), The Spook Squad. As usual, I loved the world Ms. Arthur has created. Humans know about the alternate creatures out there and aren't exactly thrilled, but they deal with them. However, the alternate creatures are not necessarily so happy to be controlled by humans. Enter Sam Ryder. Her life (at least her memory) started when she was 14 and she's never really been too concerned with what she might not remember. That changes the night she shoots her partner Jack. But was it really Jack? And, of course, she has to convince everyone around her that she was shooting in self-defense when there is little evidence to the contrary ... it doesn't help when Jack's corpse disappears from the morgue either. I didn't know where this story was going to take me, and I loved every minute of that fact. I hurt for Sam when she loses what she does, and empathized with her as she tried to deal with some surprising abilities that start cropping up for her over the course of the book. There was, of course, a potential love interest in the form of shifter Gabriel. As I've come to expect, the romance isn't hot and heavy, just some appreciation of attractiveness, but the romance rarely comes early in an Arthur series. That's part of what makes me keep reading - I want to know HOW they get together when one of the pair (usually the man) is absolutely determined NOT to get into a relationship of any sort with the other. So - in short, this is a great starting point to another series. I can't wait to see where it takes us. Book provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
shelleyraec on LibraryThing 10 months ago
I like how Arthur blends the human world with that of the supernatural set in a futuristic time so well, and that the details unfold naturally rather than being offloaded in a heap. There is plenty of action and suspense and its fairly reasonable to assume that this series springboarded the later Riley Jensen series, with it's focus on genetic enhancement and clones.Sam is interesting and smart and there is nice tension as Gabriel and she are forced together. The subtle attraction is alot different from the overt sexual interaction in the Jensen series.A strong book that is a good read - left me eager to get my hands on the 2nd and 3rd
bhryk0 on LibraryThing 10 months ago
I really enjoy Keri Arthur's Riley Jensen series and when I saw this one on the shelves I thought I would give it a go too and it was worth it, another really good story.Samantha Ryan's first memory is of being left at Children's Home when she was 14 and in the 10 years she has been in the police force she has been trying to find out where she came from, but she keeps hitting dead ends.Life changes for Sam when she kills her missing partner, or at least his clone. She is suspended from her job and told to report to the SIU where she meets Gabriel Stern, who is to look after her. The SIU are also running some tests on Sam as she has abilities that humans should not have, that is if she is human? What follows is a well told drama, with shapeshifters, shapechangers and vampires.All Sam wants to know is where do I come from?
tigerlilly_liz More than 1 year ago
Memory Zero was first published in 2004, but has since been republished in 2014 with a new book cover. I have to say I really like the 2014 book cover. It’s eye catching. WOW!! Memory Zero hooked me. I couldn’t put the book down and read it almost in one sitting. I absolutely adored the mystery behind Sam and who or what she is. She doesn’t remember her past and the records that could help her, do not exist or where hidden by influential people. But things in her life soon take on a new turn and now she’s got to discover a new mystery besides finding out about herself. It’s all so intriguing!! Sam's past, the mystery on her partner Jack, this war that's coming, and everything else that pops up. I can’t wait to fully unravel it all in this three book series. I loved the characters, plot, mystery, and well everything. It's action-packed throughout and the plot takes us away. Sam soon finds herself in the middle of something. The suspense and mystery keep her and us on our toes and on the edge of our seats. Sam, our heroine, is a determined person, dedicated to learn the truth, loyal and sweet, but that’s not all, because she’s full of flaws and fears. We get some answers, some changes in Sam, and then their are still more things to figure out. I’m very curious to see what Sam will become and where the mystery leads us. As for a romance don’t expect anything big, because their is none, but it does have the potential and the possibility for their to be a romance. Memory Zero focuses on a the mystery’s and a war thats coming to this world. So much happens and I can't wait to dive into Generation 18. Rated: 4.5 Stars
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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amdrane2 More than 1 year ago
I just finished this book and I'm still confused. When I started this book I almost stopped because I couldn't get into it. It read more like a second book in a series then a first. I think the characters were too secretive for me to enjoy fully. And I still have no idea why Stephen had to hide his identity. I'm gonna try to read the next book and hopefully things get better. There were parts of the book I did like and would like to see more of. Thanks to Netgalley for the ARC.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
bookgirl_2134 More than 1 year ago
Fast paced ride!! Fast action, mysterious origins, possible romance, twist & turns, psychic powers, fights, repartee- this book had it all! Great beginning to the series, I can't wait to finish the trilogy! Review copy furnished by NetGalley, but words are mine alone.
Berls More than 1 year ago
Pretty Great. My Initial Reaction...  Memory Zero felt similar to the Riley Jenson Series by Keri Arthur that I remember loving - minus all the sex. Lots of action, mystery, and a fun new world that I'm looking forward to getting to know better in the rest of the series. The Characters...  Samantha (Sam) Ryan is pretty much what I've come to expect from my UF heroines. She's smart, stubborn, and tough as hell. Some of that is because of her training - since Sam is a police detective and a damn good one. I liked that everything about her wasn't summed up with some supernatural ability. I love supernatural abilities, of course, but I also like it when characters know how to use their minds and eyes - and Sam does in spades. That's not to say there's nothing special about her, though. Sam has no memories from before she was 14 years old and there's no record of her before that moment anywhere. She's been searching for answers for years, but in Memory Zero she's learning that someone out there has them. And she'd probably be worried about that, if she wasn't busy trying to save her skin.  Thank goodness she has some help, from the sexy and mysterious Gabriel. Gabriel works for a special division in the police force called the "Spook Squad" because they deal with all the supernatural "Spooky" elements - Vampires, Changers, Shifters, etc. He also is part of a secret organization and knows a lot more about the mess Sam's found herself in than she does. I liked Gabriel a lot and I see the potential for romance to develop between him and Sam in future books, but in Memory Zero there's only the barest hints of that. I don't need romance in my books, but I imagine this could be pretty disappointing to those that came across this series looking for something similar to the Riley Jenson series, which was loaded with romance and sex. Sorry folks, maybe in the next book.  There are quite a few secondary characters, but none that you get to know too well. This really is the Sam and Gabriel show - we get both of their points of view - and that was find with me, though I would like to get to know some of the characters a bit better as the series progresses. At this point, though, it's hard to say exactly who will be important.  The Story...  Memory Zero is basically a detective story, so I'm surprised I liked it as much as I did (those who know me, know I don't tend to like procedural elements). I think what made it so fascinating for me was the world building. We're in an alternate version of Australia where the supernatural world is out of the bag. It felt similar to the Riley Jenson series, in that there's the separate government agency for policing the supernatural elements. But other than that, the world is really quite different and creative. For one, you've got both Shifters and Changers - one changes into animals (Shifters) and the other can change into alternate human forms (Changers). That alone added an interesting element.  There were some elements - like the Kite thingys (like my official name?) - that were introduced but not fully explored in Memory Zero. On one hand, I wish we saw more of them and understood them better, but on the other hand, I think that any more world building could have bogged the story down. I suspect we'll see a lot more of that and the secret organizations in future installments, which I look forward to reading.  The main mystery in Memory Zero circles around Sam's partner - Jack - who had gone missing, but at the start of the book contacts Sam, only to appear to her as a Vampire and try to kill her. The result is that she blows his face off and gets suspended for murdering her partner. She has only a small window to prove her innocence and at every step of the way, things get more complicated and more exciting. Concluding Sentiments...  Memory Zero was action packed, with a great world and lots of mystery. I'm thoroughly looking forward to the next one!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
In_My_Humble_OpinionDA More than 1 year ago
This is a re-release of one of the first series I’d read by Keri Arthur.  Memory Zero introduces us to another fantastic world where paranormal creatures are out of the closet and it is up to the SIU to keep them policed.   Life has made State Police Officer Samantha Ryan into one tough lady.  Her life is the job.  When her partner and only friend goes missing she is thrilled when he calls her asking to meet.  She is not so thrilled when he tries to kill her and she is forced to defend herself.  She ends up leaving the State Police and joining the SIU.  She is partnered with shapeshifter Gabriel who helps her hone the instincts she has used to stay alive and in the process discovers she has more gifts than previously thought.   I really like Sam.  Life has handed her crap and she refuses to let it get her down.  She has no memory of her life before the age of fourteen but has turned herself into a heck of a cop.  Kind of like a paranormal Eve Dallas. Memory Zero is a fast paced adventure and mystery that will keep you guessing and turning pages.
JackieBCentralTexasJB More than 1 year ago
Read from July 23 to 24, 2014 Book Info  Kindle Edition, 352 pages Expected publication: August 26th 2014 by Dell (first published June 15th 2004) original title Memory Zero (Spook Squad, #1) ASIN B00IQRN4VG edition language English series Spook Squad #1 other editions (5) Source:Netgalley EARC Book Buy Links  Amazon  B&N  BOOK SYNOPSIS MORTAL RECALL For Sam Ryan, life began at age fourteen. She has no memory of her parents or her childhood. In a decade of service with the State Police, Sam has exhausted the resources of the force searching for clues to her identity. But all mention of her family seems to have been deliberately wiped off the record. Everything changes the night Sam’s missing partner resurfaces as a vampire . . . and forces her to kill him in self-defense. Now Sam is charged with murder. Suspended from the force, and with no one left to trust, Sam accepts some unexpected help from Gabriel Stern, a shapeshifter who conceals startling secrets. While investigating the circumstances surrounding her partner’s strange behavior, Sam discovers that Gabriel’s been involved with a dangerous organization that’s planning a war on the human race. More immediate, someone is guarding the truth about Sam’s past—someone who’d rather see her dead than risk her knowing too much. To stay alive, Sam must unravel the threads of her past—and find out not only who she is but what she is. My Thoughts At 29 Samantha Ryan has partnered with Jack Kazdan for quite a few years in the service of the State Police. Missing for over a month one night Jack sets up a meeting with Sam, in the course of which she finds a murder victim, finds herself chased by the murderous supernatural creature than saved by a mysterious stranger and then finds out Jack is a vampire who wishes her to join him in some vague endeavor or die. She is forced to kill him in self defense and than things really get interesting when her superiors send her to meet with an SIU investigator who turns out to be her savior. There are a multitude of supernatural creatures who are the main characters of this book, vampires, shape shifters, shape changers and as Sam finds out more about her own emerging abilities she becomes aware that her own supposed humanity may not be entirely correct. This is an engaging read filled with mysteries that may or may not be solved but with skill luck and a lot of determination on Sam’s part she and Gabriel may just be able to overcome the odds against them as they fight together to save their friends, family and coworkers from the machinations of a madman. The first in another previously released series by the author , and although there were a few information gaps it was an excellent action oriented paranormal suspense with a smoothly flowing pace that read fairly quickly. Thankful to publisher and Netgalley for making this available and looking forward to more action featuring Sam and Gabriel in book 2 Generation 18. [EArc from Netgalley in exchange for honest review]
JoanneWadsworth More than 1 year ago
Keri Arthur brings depth and intrigue in this enthralling tale. Sam Ryan has no memory of her childhood, and as an officer with the State Police, she’s searched for clues to her missing identity for years and found none. Then one night it all changes as she comes face to face with her missing partner and is forced to kill him as he attacks her. Instead of her captain accepting her plea of self-defense, she’s charged with her partner’s murder, though she doesn’t take the conviction lying down. Gabriel, a shapeshifter and the man assigned from a dangerous organization to Sam’s case, appears to be the only man she can trust as her world turns upside down. Only he has his own mass of secrets, and in order to keep Sam alive, he too must share if they’ve a hope of unraveling the dark hidden threads of her past. This first book in Keri Arthur’s Spook Squad series gripped me in its fascinating throes from start to finish. I am an avid reader of this author’s work, and find her ability to spin a story with depth and intrigue enthralling. I will warn you though, that at times it feels like there is too much death and disaster going on, and that there can’t possibly be another bombing and near escape, but they keep on coming. That was a touch annoying, but all in all, it didn’t detract from the intensely exciting storyline, one that had me completely immersed within it. Obviously with this being book one, there is so much more to come. The romance between Sam and Gabriel is sweetly appealing, and I can’t wait to see where these two go and where their adventure takes them in book two. My thanks goes to the author for a fabulous read.
SoIReadThisBookToday More than 1 year ago
I spent my birthday with a new series (for me) that I was really enjoying. The Spook Squad by Keri Arthur. The premise and story are fascinating, involving a close-to-us parallel world where nonhumans live alongside normal in an uneasy balance. They are policed by the SIU, a shadowy group set up to police nonhumans. The main character in the book is Sam Ryan, a State Police Officer. As far as Sam is concerned, she is fully human – but is she truly? With no memory of the first 14-years of her life, Sam is an exemplary officer, but she is also a haunted woman, searching for her life before she awakened in a foster home at 14. In Memory Zero we first meet Sam as she is set to meet with her partner, Jack, in a dark and stinking back alley of Melbourne. Jack – who has been missing for over two weeks, supposedly the victim of an unknown cop killer. Called to the alley by the missing Jack, having promised to tell no one, Sam finds much more than she expects as the Jack she meets is no longer human, but instead is a vampire. And something else – something much, much worse. Killing the man who is her partner, and yet not, Sam is pulled into a whirlwind of terror which begins to pull her history from her own mind, opening doors that should have stayed closed. Generation 18 is the second in the series, and continues Sam’s story. Now a member of the SIU, she is partnered with Assistant Director of the SIU, Gabriel, the two are neck deep in the investigation of a serial killer who is targeting a seemingly unrelated group of victims, whose only link is that they are all adopted, and all have red-gold hair. We learn a lot more about Samantha in this volume, and I really came to admire and like her, though not Gabriel, a cold and isolated man, determined to shake Sam off as his partner. He is determined to never have a partner again after the death of his former two partners, one of whom was his mate, Andrea. That loss, when he was 18, has set in his mind that he will never allow anyone close to him again, not even his twin brother. Struggling to catch the killer, the invisible Sethanon, Sam has to fight not only her growing memories, and her jackass of a partner, but also a growing threat against herself and who she may, or may not, be. Penumbra is the third book in the trilogy, and builds up the series to a massive head, as Sam finally realizes who, and what she is. And who Gabriel is supposed to be to her – though he desperately fights it. Tracking a mix of clones, shapeshifters and shapechangers, the murders come fast and furious as the military comes closer and closer to achieving their goals of an unstoppable army, and Sam comes to realize that her dreams of her twin are not only real – but that they are much more dangerous than she ever could have imagined. I was really liking this series. I mean, really liking it – enough that I sat other things aside and continued reading through all three books without stopping, other than to do what I absolutely had to. EDIT TO REVIEW: It appears that the whole "won't be publishing any longer" wasn't actually Keri's fault. Here is a note from here. I really loved the books, Keri, and will be updating all my reviews. I also just finished Full Moon Rising and will be writing a review on that one too. Loved it. Sorry I’ve upset you by not finishing the series…but the reason is not as simple as I didn’t feel like finishing it. I had planned a 4th book, but the Riley Jenson series came along and given it was my first major book contract (along the publisher’s decision to release the first 4 books in one year), I had to give priority to that series rather than the Spook Squad novel. And I’m afraid that several years away from the Spook Squad world meant I was no longer immersed in it. I’d rather leave a series unfinished than make a total and utter mess of it. However, with Bantam re-releasing the series in paperback in the US, I did write a brief (5 page) epilogue that gave some closure on the relationship aspects. The rest of the plot (and the war) does remain unfinished. Again, sorry to upset and disappoint you. I wish I could finish the series, too, believe me, but there’s just too many other books I have to write. So, now we know why Spook Squad was never finished – the demands of Publishers! I am updating and reposting my reviews everywhere to take her note into account. So, my apologies to Keri for losing my temper and being a snot!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
LilyElementBookReviews More than 1 year ago
Memory Zero is the first book in a "new" series by Keri Arthur. The book revolves around a police officer named Sam Ryan. It starts by jumping right into the action and doesn't let up from there. Sam is set to meet her partner in some seedy alley, and wondering why he wanted to meet there. She finds him and realizes quickly that he's been turned into a vampire and is not even close to the person she knew. Forced to kill him in self defense, Sam is suspended from her job and she has to figure out what is going on. Gabriel Stern is a shapeshifter that works for the SIU aka the Spook Squad. He saves Sam's life from a kite monster the night she killed her partner. There are several different types of creatures in Memory Zero - vampires, shifters (shape and person), kite monsters, and of course humans. I could see the sparks between Gabriel and Sam, but nothing happens. I know something will later in the series, and can't wait. Gabriel uncovers things about Sam which lead to questions of what she is and who her parents are. Sam has no memory of her childhood, and no one seems to know her origin story so everything is shrouded in mystery. Memory Zero is a reprint, and was originally released in 2004. I can't help but compare the previous books I've read from her against this one, so for me Memory Zero wasn't quite as enjoyable as I hoped for. The world building is somewhat there, I'm thinking book two and after will be a bit more to my liking. I felt like I should know the character's stories already, it starts off with a ton of action and continues with that course through the entire book. I'm not sure if this is a spin off and that's the reason why I feel like I'm lacking in knowledge of the characters, or if this series is just that way. There isn't really a good introduction of them, I want details on them, why are they the way they are, etc. That issues doesn't deter me though, I will definitely be reading book two of the series just to see what happens next.