This is the debut novel from a writer with extensive experience in vampire stories and the paranormal. Arthenís challenge was to create a vampire story in the old-fashioned vein, a la Bram Stokerís Dracula. She definitely achieves this. The story comes alive, riddled with just enough creepiness to enjoy but not so much as to keep the reader awake at night.
We meet Regan Calloway as she is assisting in an investigation into weird assaults that have been occurring in the area. Regan is psychic, able to read details about people and the past by touching them or articles belonging to them. Unfortunately, this time she picks up more than she bargained for, setting off a thorough exploration into the life (or rather, non-life) of the living dead.
Inanna Arthen explores vampires in the modern world, attempting to account for both the mundane details and the supernatural, and she does so with relish. She makes vampires seem real, even approachable. Thatís what is so creepy about this book. You finish it and think - Oh, man! That is too real! I did not want to put Mortal Touch down until I had finished it.
There's not much that I didnít like about the story as a whole. It is well-written with intelligent humor, and Arthen delivers a clever plot with a crafted backstory. Two aspects did bother me a bit. The role of protagonist is not clear-cut until the end, due to a shift in focus and a change in roles for the main characters. In addition the pace of the story fades a bit in the middle, although afterward I realized this was setting up the rest of the story.
This reminded me of my childhood ďFriday Frite NiteĒ experiences: delightfully creepy. Arthenís book is a certain pleaser for those of you interested in good old-fashioned scary stories without the demons and gore. I can safely say this book receives a 4.5 out of 5 stars.