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Flame in the Dark
Soulwood #3
by Faith Hunter
Ace, $7.99, 364pp
Published: December 2017

Nell Ingram is different, she has the ability to draw on power from deep within the earth. As a child she escaped the polygamous religious cult in which she was raised to live on her own on the land, Soulwood, left to her by her husband.  Now she has been recruited by PsyLED—the Homeland Security division that polices paranormals and finds herself being drawn into the real world while forming friendships with her teammates. The team is made up of team leader Rick LaFleur, a were-panther, Occam, a were-leopard from Texas, Tandy, an empath, T. Laine, a witch and JoJo who calls herself the “token human.” Oh, and let’s not forget Pea and Bean, strange sort of catlike creatures whose purpose is to prevent the weres from injuring or turning humans - by killing them if necessary. Soul, a shapeshifting dragon spends a great deal of time with the team as overall supervisor.

Our case this time involves a very powerful Senator and his family who are the target of various assassination attempts by what may or may not be a magically enhanced assassin. The team’s investigation leads them to various dead ends until they reach the right answer - an answer that involves an ancient paranormal war and a foe that was thought to be vanquished thousands of years ago.

Along with the case we have the other parts of Nell’s life to learn about as her family tries to set her up with a good churchman while she finds herself more and more interested in Occam. Then there is Nell’s sister Mindy who is the same sort of unidentified non-human Nell is and who has reached the age of twelve,  where the church finds her old enough to become a wife and thus  needs Nell’s protection on several fronts. Brother Ephraim is still a blot on Nell’s land and the mutating vampire tree in the church compound is getting worse.

The series gets better with each book as we learn more about Nell and the team. I am only sorry the next one will not be available until February 2019 having read the first three in three days. ~~ Stephanie L Bannon

For more books in the Soulwood series click here
For more titles by Faith Hunter click here

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