Griffin “Grif” Shaw is a Centurion, an angel who helps souls cross into the Everlast, especially those who died violently – just as he did fifty years ago. Grif still wants to find out who killed his wife, Evie, the love of his life. One day he comes to collect the soul of a prostitute, and against his better judgment he grants her a few brief minutes of life again before taking her away. That was enough time for the woman (who was actually an undercover news photographer) to leave a message pointing to her killer and endanger her best friend’s life.
Katherine “Kit” Craig is a newspaper reporter for her family-owned paper who dresses and lives the rockabilly lifestyle. She is full of life and always in search of the truth. She’s waiting outside the motel where her best friend has gone undercover when she sees a man dressed as if he was one of the Rat Pack staring out the window. Within mere hours she would be brutally attacked – with the intent to rape and kill – in her own her home.
Grif is supposed to collect Kit’s soul before leaving earth. Fortunately for Kit, he acts on impulse and saves her by beating up her attackers. Now Grif’s in some real trouble with the heavenly host, and has been banished to earth to once again don weak and sinful flesh until he is able to let Kit Craig die and bring her soul home. Only he decides to protect her and help her figure out who murdered her best friend and why in exchange for the ace reporter’s help in solving his wife’s fifty year old murder case.
I really liked this book because the characters are fully drawn and believable and provide some great dialogue, Vicki Pettersson’s world building of Sin City and the rockabilly culture, the whole angel / urban fantasy premise and the story itself was gripping and kept me turning pages. One warning though, there are some slightly disturbing scenes involving forced prostitution of underage girls and there’s a fair helping of violence toward women (by the bad guys). Still, it was very enjoyable and highly recommended for fans of Jim Butcher, Laurell K. Hamilton, Kim Harrison, or Tad Williams‘ newest book The Dirty Streets of Heaven. The next in the Celestial Blues series, The Lost, came out this spring.