Keri Arthur

A Riley Jenson Guardian novel

ISBN: 987-0-7499-4227-4

Piatkus (2010)

Reviewed by Tehani Wessely

I’ve really enjoyed the Riley Jenson series. It’s been a year or two since I’ve picked one up for some reason, but I’m really glad to get back into these books. Riley is a great character; Arthur has managed to keep her interesting without being overpowering (literally and figuratively) and the situations the books find her in are credible and well-crafted. It’s Australian urban fantasy at its best, and holds its own against the big overseas names in this genre impressively.

In this, the ninth episode of the Riley series (and the last, I think, although apparently there will be an offshoot series), Riley is wrestling with the decision of whether to quit her death-dealing job and concentrate on her family, or continue in a role she excels at. The forthcoming birth of babies that will tighten the ties between Riley and the men in her life, the loss of her soul mate, and the harsh toll that her job takes on her body, and those around her, all make her question the way she lives. Then without warning, she loses it all and is suddenly on her own, in a way that is baffling and strange. With none of her usual support mechanisms, Riley must figure out why she feels so strange in her life, and find the way home.

Riley is a fabulous character and Keri Arthur works the cast and story beautifully, crafting a detailed and plausible plot populated by appealing people. I’m impressed with the way this series has been sustained through nine books without losing momentum or becoming overdone., no easy thing to do. I haven’t yet had the opportunity to read any of Keri Arthur’s other series novels, but now that Riley has wrapped up, I’ll be looking out for alternatives!