cover image Lost Souls

Lost Souls

Kelley Armstrong. Subterranean, $28 (192p) ISBN 978-1-59606-821-6

Urban fantasy meets urban legend in this succinct sidebar to Armstrong’s Cainsville series. The novella opens with a motorist’s encounter with that chestnut of contemporary folk frights, the vanishing hitchhiker. Patrick, a fae trickster and writer of supernatural fiction, calls the incident to the attention of Chicago attorney Gabriel Walsh in the hope that solving the mystery will draw Gabriel (who doesn’t know that Patrick is his father) closer to Olivia, a research associate possessed of her own paranormal proclivities, with whom Gabriel has a standoffish relationship. When Gabriel and Olivia trace the incident back to a tragedy that occurred 40 years before, they discover discrepancies in past sightings that suggest something more malevolent—and dangerous—than a ghost is behind them. Armstrong milks the plot for as much suspense as possible before bringing events to a romantically satisfying conclusion. The tale’s strongest element is its use of recurring characters, whose familiarity is sure to be a clincher for fans of the series. Agent: Helen Heller, Helen Heller Agency. (Apr.)