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Living With the Dead: Women of the Otherworld    by Kelley Armstrong order for
Living With the Dead
by Kelley Armstrong
Order:  USA  Can
Spectra, 2008 (2008)
Hardcover, e-Book

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* * *   Reviewed by Martina Bexte

Readers who have been faithfully following Armstrong's Women of the Otherworld series, and most recently, Hope Adams' and Karl Marsden's relationship, will be pleased with the fact that the couple continue working through their issues. Once the ultimate outsider, Karl is caught between his love for Hope, his reconnection to his Pack and their continuing resistence, to remain free of Cabal control. Hope is also working to come to grips with her dark and sometimes uncontrollable demon half.

Armstrong introduces a strong new story thread she's only hinted at in previous instalments. The Clairvoyants are a rare and secretive race that the Cabals have always been eager to control. When Hope's best friend Robyn Peltier (a human) is implicated in a murder conspiracy, Hope and Karl rush to her rescue. Still grieving over the sudden loss of her husband, Robyn thinks starting a new life and career in Los Angeles will give her a different outlook. But she soon finds herself the prime suspect in a high profile celebrity murder and on the run not only from various arms of the law, but also from the real killer, a clairvoyant named Adele who is eager to escape her strictured existence and embrace unfettered freedom for the first time in her life.

When other supernatural enemies step into the picture, Hope and Karl soon realise that Robyn's situation is even more dangerous than they'd anticipated. With two powerful Cabals intent on silencing them, not to mention a dedicated cop named John Findley (who also happens to be a powerful Necromancer) hot on Robyn's trail, Hope has no choice but to introduce her friend to a world most humans would find hard to comprehend.

Armstrong has created another strong entry in her unique and fascinating series. Aside from Hope and Karl, other favourite characters make short return appearances while intriguing new players and story threads are introduced - Armstrong's depictions of the Clairvoyants' secretive society and the psychotic Adele are downright chilling. On the other hand, readers new to the series might find themselves bogged down in trying to sort everyone out. The ending of Living with the Dead falls a bit short in tying up certain loose ends, but hopefully Armstrong will address them in future books.

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