Emergence: At the scene of a domestic disturbance, Officer Darby Shaw finds the wife dead - and the killer husband not 20 feet away. Taking the suspect into custody turns into a life and death struggle for Darby, and for the dead woman who returns to life with no apparent explanation besides Darby's touch. Sequestered in a hospital room, Darby learns several government agencies are vying to take her into custody. Can Darby fight the law she's devoted her life to when it's her freedom on the line? But the bigger question hanging over her head: Can she resurrect the dead again?
Retaliation: A year after Detective Darby Shaw finds out she is a superhuman who can revive the murdered, she has uneasily accepted the expectations on her and settled into the new direction of her life. Darby's relative peace is shattered when, a year to the day after her first resuscitation, the 37-year-old killer turns up dead in his jail cell - his body withered to that of an aged man. Speculation mounts that Darby and her powers are directly responsible for the death of the killer. The Department of SuperHuman Affairs attempts to revoke her status as a super so they can whisk her off for testing. But when a motion for just that is denied by the court, even Darby will be surprised at just how far they will go to get their hands on her....
Capitulation: Two months after her kidnapping, Darby Shaw is starting to get things back to a new normal. She's making changes, subtle though they may be, doing what she can to move on. Her latest case is just the thing Darby needs to keep her mind off the recent past: Justin Kendrick, paraplegic, is dead. Being poisoned, strangled, and stabbed through the heart seems like overkill. Together with her partner, Detective Mark Herman, and colleague, Sergeant Trent Oliver, Darby must track down Justin's killer. After the resuscitation, all hell breaks loose, and Darby is unprepared for the consequences of her powers...or how they will affect her....
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Detective stories with awesome unusual elements!
paranormal, homicide, romance
Pretty well. Darby Shaw is the center of action, controversy, and an unusual power that often makes other characters uncomfortable. She experiences a wide range of trauma and pain that makes you want to see her succeed. And her romantic life is fraught with complexity. I was not bored!
I disliked the sing-songy quality of the reader--it sounded unnatural and flattened the excellent writing. Many times, I found myself talking over the audio to "correct" the reader's interpretation of how lines would be said; most of the time I thought her emphasis was "off" and it pulled me out of the story to reinterpret the tone and emphasis from the context. That was pretty frustrating. But the story itself was very good--good enough to keep me engaged despite the performance. I also liked that the reader was able to speak in accents when needed. But overall, the performance was an obstacle to me getting "lost" in the story.
Murder doesn't have to be the end.
Darby Shaw is a typical detective—until she accidentally resuscitates a murder victim and discovers she’s not as typical as she thought.
Author Liberty Spiedel does a great job of blending crime-fighting, murder mystery, action, romantic, and paranormal/superhero elements in these books for a fun read. The books are very well structured and well written, but my favorite element (other than the intriguing irony of a homicide detective who can resuscitate murder victims) is the romantic tension between Darby and her partner, Mark, which is developed very gradually over the course of the book set. Characters are likable, flawed, unique, and come alive on the pages as real people; Spiedel’s writing provides just enough detail that I can “watch” the story unfolding in my mind like a movie.
It’s not for kids (we’re dealing with murder and a believable police force, so there is periodic strong language and a touch of frank sexual description...although no sex scenes), but anyone who enjoys a dramatic criminal mystery, paranormal elements, and some romance waiting in the wings will love these stories.
- Margaret Winslow