Reviewer Dr. Wesley Britton: Dr. Britton is the author of four non-fiction books on espionage in literature and the media. Starting in fall 2015, his new six-book science fiction series, The Beta-Earth Chronicles, debuted via BearManor Media. For seven years, he was co-host of online radio’s Dave White Presents where he contributed interviews with a host of entertainment insiders. Before his retirement in 2016, Dr. Britton taught English at Harrisburg Area Community College. Learn more about Dr. Britton at his WEBSITE
Author: Sandy BrackeenPublisher: Booktrope
Digging Up the Past originally appeared as a paperback in 2010, but has been reissued as an ebook this year with a new subtitle, “Tales from Atlantis.” That’s because the book is now book one of a new series which we’ll be hearing more about in coming months.
Digging Up the Past centers on Riley Perez, a paranormal empath who’s an agent for the Department of Unusual Events, a division of Homeland Security that investigates supernatural problems. She was apparently born into a shape shifter family but can’t shape shift herself. Instead, she can sense and project psychic shields and knows about potions, charms, and wards, but also how to use a gun and is skilled in unarmed combat. For this assignment, Riley and her team of government investigators hook up with the private company, Cerberus Security, and especially one of its co-owners, Cameron Delany. He’s a hunk of a werewolf who Perez is irresistibly drawn to. As it happens, in the realm of beings with abilities we mere “mundanes” don’t share, weres and shape shifters aren’t encouraged to get romantic in an inter-species way. Guess what happens.
The low-key plot revolves around the hunt for a Peruvian artifact, an ancient spade that offers immortality to anyone who possesses it. The story opens with Perez and her well-sketched company trying to protect the archeologist who dug it up. His family is threatened by those wanting to get at the spade while the DUE investigates how the artifact was stolen, who might have it now, and how its powers can be destroyed. At the same time, unknown trouble makers are willing to resort to kidnapping and murder to find the treasured artifact. They also have magical abilities, especially placing deadly spells on throwing knives.
I imagine the principal audience for Digging Up the Past would be readers, primarily female, who enjoy paranormal romances. While there’s a gloss of the supernatural throughout the book, much of the plot is very much a down-to-earth human detective story set in a vividly described north Texas university town.
Sure, if you’re going to break into a five building pentagram, bring along a werewolf or two, but don’t forget your pistol and fighting moves. And remember it’s always good to load that gun with silver bullets.