Friday, March 18, 2022

Missing, Suspected Dead (Elisabeth Hicks, Witch Detective #3)


Missing, Suspected Dead is the third Elizabeth Hicks paranormal romance/mystery by Rachel Graves. Released 13th Aug 2021, it's 188 pages and is available in ebook format. It's worth noting that the ebook format has a handy interactive table of contents as well as interactive links and references throughout. I've really become enamored of ebooks with interactive formats lately. For Kindle Unlimited subscribers, this book is currently included in the KU subscription library to borrow and read for free, alongside the earlier books in the series.

There's certainly no dearth of urban fantasy gritty PI type series with badass female protagonists floating around. This one distinguishes itself by being better than average. The plotting and action driven story arc are well controlled and immersive. I never found my interest wandering or got yanked out of the story by clunky dialogue or unbelievable scenes (it's a paranormal fantasy, but it operates within the "rules"). 

The story is engaging with lots of personal and family drama against a backdrop of murder and mayhem in the magical community (weres, ghosts, vampires, psychics, the full package). It's pure escapist reading. The language is rough (lots of "f-bombs") and there is a full measure of graphic violence. There are descriptions of abuse, murder, and neglect which could be potentially problematic for some readers. There are frank descriptions of sex acts included. They're not egregious, they advance the plot and set scenes, but they are there. 

Although it's the third book in the series, it works well enough as a standalone, and I had no trouble keeping the characters straight. There are spoilers for the earlier books, however, so readers who want to read them all will be better off reading them in order. 

Four stars. Well written. Fans of Hamilton (Anita Blake) and Briggs (Mercy Thompson) will find a lot to like here.

Disclosure: I received an ARC at no cost from the author/publisher for review purposes.  

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