Featured Author Review: ‘The Given’ by Vicki Pettersson

The Givengiven
Vicki Pettersson
Harper Voyager
ISBN-10: 006206620X

After learning his wife survived the attack that killed him fifty years earlier, angel/PI Griffin Shaw is determined to find Evelyn Shaw, no matter the cost. Yet his obsession comes at a price. Grif has had to give up his burgeoning love for reporter Katherine “Kit” Craig, the woman who made life worth living again, and dedicate himself to finding one he no longer knows.

Yet when Grif is attacked again, it becomes clear that there are forces in both the mortal and heavenly realm who’d rather see him dead than unearth the well-buried secrets of his past. If he’s to survive his second go-round on the Surface, Grif will have to convince Kit to reunite with him professionally, and help uncover decades of police corruption, risking both their lives… and testing the limits to what one angel is really willing to give for love.

Sometimes boys are stupid, yes even the over-aged, no ID required for liquor purchases kind of boys. Sometimes, even the dead-fifty-years-and-now-an-angel type boys are stupid.

Griffin Shaw, yeah, he was a little stupid, especially in the end of the last Celestial Blues novel, The Lost.

You see, I don’t think men every really grow out of that “pull your hair ’cause I like you” habit. Oh, sure, they may not physically do an hair-pulling now, but the antagonistic mentality is still there.

But for all his stubborn flaws, Grif isn’t stupid because he walked away from his one-true-love Katherine (Kit) Craig to seek out the truth behind his not-really-dead wife, Evie’s murder. He is a bit stupid for not letting Kit help him in his search and for letting the mystery of Evie’s whereabouts, and the truth behind his own murder, consume him.

Obsession is never good unless we’re talking about chocolate. Even then you get pimples and cellulite and it’s this whole thing that one generally tries to ignore. For the most part, obsessions do nothing but eat away the very good things in the obsessed’s life.

For Grif, that very good thing was his relationship with Kit, but like any stupid, or at least stupid-acting, boy worth his salt, Grif has to swallow his pride and do a little groveling. He needs Kit’s help.

At first, she’s conflicted. Does she help the man she loves find out about Evie’s involvement and motivation in his murder, or does she level a vicious middle finger at him and walk away with her hips sashaying in her wake?

Kit, it turns out, isn’t so stupid. Like any great heroine, she knows what she wants and she knows how to push aside her own hurt and pain to get the job done. In the process, Grif’s obsession dims and he comes to realize how the weight of his obsession nearly cost him the woman he really loves.

The Given is a vivid, lush ending to what, for me, has been such a unique and immensely entertaining series. There is murder and intrigue, betrayal and romance all wrapped up in a glorious vintage, noir-esque ribbon. I loved these characters. I loved the tension that literally pulses between Grif and Kit and I loved how that tension and the relationship that grows from it, isn’t the defining theme of the series.

This is urban fantasy at its finest and a trilogy that will stick in my mind, one that I’ll keep returning to again and again, for many, many years.

If you love supernatural mysteries and can’t stay away from unique tropes that aren’t overdone, then this wonderfully arched urban fantasy is the read for you.

Highly, highly recommended.

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