RELEASE DAY REVIEW by Lorna: Memory Zero (The Spook Squad #1) by Keri Arthur (@kezarthur, @Mollykatie112)

For Sam Ryan, life began at age fourteen. She has no memory of her parents or her childhood. In a decade of service with the State Police, Sam has exhausted the resources of the force searching for clues to her identity. But all mention of her family seems to have been deliberately wiped off the record. Everything changes the night Sam’s missing partner resurfaces as a vampire . . . and forces her to kill him in self-defense. Now Sam is charged with murder. Suspended from the force, and with no one left to trust, Sam accepts some unexpected help from Gabriel Stern, a shapeshifter who conceals startling secrets.
While investigating the circumstances surrounding her partner’s strange behavior, Sam discovers that Garbriel’s been involved with a dangerous organization that’s planning a war on the human race. More immediate, someone is guarding the truth about Sam’s past—someone who’d rather see her dead than risk her knowing too much. To stay alive, Sam must unravel the threads of her past—and find out not only who she is but what she is.

I am becoming a big fan of Keri Arthur and I haven’t even read her Riley Jenson books yet. I found this book on Net Galley and didn’t even hesitate requesting it. The books I have read by this author are always dangerous paranormal adventures, and feature a strong female and male main character. This book was no exception. I should mention that this was originally published in 2004.
Sam is a homicide cop with a missing partner. While searching for him, she witnesses a horrific, very paranormal murder and just barely escapes with her life. Her partner Jack shows up on the scene but he isn’t the same man she has always known. There’s about to be a paranormal war according to him, and he wants her to join with him. Since, she’s human(or maybe not?) she is surprised and of course her answer is no. During the ensuing murderous confrontation, she meets someone that helps her escape Jack. Gabriel works with a secret agency that deals with the paranormal and due to circumstances that are spoilers, she ends up working with him.
What I liked about this book:
The Characters. Sam is feisty, stubborn, loyal, and very smart. She also isn’t “normal,” and has certain powers. Gabriel is also smart, strong and loyal and his work is his life. He isn’t really human, although he looks like he is. There are several secondary characters that I really liked as well. Since this is the set-up for a series, you know these characters will show up for other books as well.

The Story and Premise. A main character that is unaware that she is anything but human was a great way to start this series. This story has almost non-stop action, betrayals, deaths, and even explosions. It all made for an exciting, fun read, which also equals a well written book for the reader.
The world building. In this world, the paranormal world is known about, but not necessarily wholeheartedly accepted. As an example of this, Sam HATES vampires vehemently. There’s lots of other paranormal entities, including some I have never heard of before in this story. This just made the story even more interesting and different.
What I didn’t like about this book:
Nothing really, although I would have liked some more romance. Since this is Urban Fantasy, that will undoubtedly take a bit longer to get to and that’s okay.

Who would I recommend this book to?
Urban Fantasy fans ages 16 plus.

I really enjoyed the start to this series and look forward to reading the next one. As always, Keri Arthur delivered a solid paranormal story line and an all around good read.
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