Review copy came from personal purchase.
Urban fantasy author Alayna Williams‘ novel Dark Oracle concerns FBI criminal profiler Tara Sheridan, who’d much rather live her life under the radar and away from the FBI’s office politics. But when an explosion rocks a science center, the lead scientist, Lowell Magnusson, goes missing. The FBI calls Tara in to have a look at the ruins. She and lead investigator Harry Li begin investigating, but there’s not much in the way of evidence left. Just clues. Armed with her intuition and her tarot cards, hopefully Tara can make sense of the wreck.
The fact that Magnusson wiped his hard drive, left only a watch and his dog and his daughter Cassie behind, and was somehow of interest to the Daughters of Delphi–a group of oracles with whom Tara grew up–gives her pause. There’s more to this disappearance than meets the eye, for Magnusson’s colleagues inform Tara and Harry that the good doctor’s subject of research was indeed groundbreaking: the existence of dark matter and the ability to make a black hole.
Tara has more enemies than she needs, however, as her ex-partner (now boss), his cronies, and a disgruntled member of the Daughters of Delphi all want her dead. She’d rather just tell the FBI what to do with themselves, but for Cassie’s sake, Tara decides to try. Will she live long enough to find Magnusson? Can she trust the Daughters of Delphi? Will she make sense of her budding feelings for Agent Li? How close to home will the danger hit? Tara’s tarot cards may lead her through the clues, but will they lead her to success? Or death? Can she protect Cassie as she feels she must? You’ll have to read and find out for yourself.
Dark Oracle is one of the more original Urban Fantasy offerings I’ve read in quite a while. I particularly liked the inclusion of the oracles and history thereof, and Ms. Williams’s allowing Tara use of the tarot. Rich with symbolism, and with an intrigue to keep even soft science fiction (and given her history with a psychopathic serial killer) thriller fans reading. If you’d like to check it out, Dark Oracle is available in paperback and kindle from Amazon, also from barnes and noble.com, Books-A-Million, and Indiebound.
For more about Alayna Williams, see here site here.