Touched is the first book in a series by A.J. Aalto that focuses on Marnie Baranuik, a dual-talented forensic psychic who can feel the emotions of others and read impressions left behind on objects. Baranuik has been nicknamed The Great White Shark by the media and when we first meet her, she has just “retired” from the FBI after having worked a grand total of one case. For me this story actually had elements that I had never read before and nowadays when so many books follow whatever the “theme” of the moment is, this was a huge bonus. In addition to FBI agents and psychics the book also has vampires (or revenants as they insist on being called), werewolves, flesh eating bugs, and of course humans. The psychics get their powers from the revenant they “day sit” for and I really enjoyed this aspect of the story. If their revenant dies, they slowly lose their powers and eventually go a little batty.
I must admit when I started reading this book I found it to be a little “wordy”. Marnie’s inner dialogue seemed a little over the top to me but I found it funny and I kept reading. I’m glad I stuck with it. While there are times in the book where it feels like words are put into the sentence just for the sake of it, after a little while you don’t even notice it and the story moves at a fast pace. Aside from the fact that Marnie is psychic, she is relatable and down to earth. Her relationship with Harry, her revenant, is funny and sweet, and their interactions with each other were some of the best in the book.
Marnie has a thing for Batten, a fellow Agent, and it is clear from the first time we see him that the two have a history. Batten is one person that Marnie cannot “read” and this frustrates her to no end. His former job as a vampire hunter puts him at odds with Harry and she spends a lot of time getting in between the two of them.
Although she is “retired,” Marnie is brought in to assist her former boss and partner with a case involving the brutal murder of a young girl. After getting shot and botching her first and only case, Marnie is very reluctant to help them out. She ends up being pulled in to the case after there is an attack that seriously injures her and watching her try to solve the case, while struggling with her attraction to Batten, was amusing.
Towards the end of the book the story gets very busy and at times it can be a bit hard to catch up but once you do, the story plays out nicely. I’m looking forward to reading more of Marnie, Harry and the rest of the group!
*Book provided by Booktrope for review
Click to purchase: Amazon
by AJ Aalto
Release Date: September 10, 2012