Title: Under Wraps
Author: Hannah Jayne
Genre: Chick Lit
Series: Underworld Detection Agency (Book 1)
Publication Date: March 1, 2011
Format: Paperback, 352 Pages
ISBN-10: 0758258925 (Kensington)
ISBN-13: 978-0758258922 (Kensington)
As a human immune to magic, Sophie Lawson can help everyone from banshee to zombie transition into normal, everyday San Francisco life. With a handsome werewolf as her UDA boss and a fashionista vampire for a roommate, Sophie knows everything there is to know about the undead, the unseen, and the uncanny. . .
Until a rash of gruesome murders has demons and mortals running for cover, and Sophie finds herself playing sidekick to detective Parker Hayes. Dodging raging bloodsuckers, bad-tempered fairies, and love-struck trolls is one thing. But when Sophie discovers Parker isn’t what he seems, she’s got only one chance to figure out whom to trust. Because an evil hiding in plain sight is closing in — and about to make one wisecracking human its means to ultimate power.
Quick & Dirty: The suspense and danger of this story sizzle out and was never fully fleshed out. Unfortunately, this entry to the paranormal subgenre barely registers.
Opening Sentence: This was why I didn’t do magic.
Excerpt: Chapter 1
Sophie Lawson has been tasked with assisting detective Parker Hayes’ murder investigation. Matters are further complicated when her boss goes missing. Sophie and Parker work together to solve the murders and find out what happened to her boss.
Under Wraps is the first book in the Underworld Detection Agency Chronicles. I should also note that this isn’t an urban fantasy series. While the cover art portrays your typical no nonsense, come and get some urban fantasy heroine, it’s completely misleading.
Under Wraps ended up being just a so-so read for me. The story is narrated by our protagonist, Sophie Lawson. She works as an administrative assistant at Underworld Detection Agency. Sophie is a likable character, but she’s just not believable in her given role. Sophie is more of a hapless heroine with a heart of gold. She’s easily distracted and not very practical or knowledgeable when it comes to detective work. The idea that Sophie would be a useful asset in the investigation is completely ridiculous. Sophie and Parker have a shared chemistry, but most of the surrounding cast are superfluous characters.
The central plot just isn’t very interesting or compelling. The elements of mystery and danger didn’t do much to move the story forward. The lack of tension, character motivations and conflicts are apparent. Simply put, witty and snarky dialog can’t save this story.
Overall, Under Wraps is a fairly lightweight novel. If you’re looking for an amusing afternoon read, then you might enjoy this story. For those of you looking for a gritty, complex and intriguing urban fantasy world — you won’t find that here.
The gun bobbed in my hands, and I tried to grip it more tightly, the cold from the frozen steel and my own warm sweat making my palms itch. I was within reaching distance for the phone when I was startled by the sudden silence and then a deep, low breathing. I glanced up, seeing the shrouded figure hunched in the doorway. I stepped back, steeled myself, and leveled the gun. I felt the power roil through me as my fingers inched toward the trigger. I clamped my eyes shut and wrenched my mouth open, letting out a wailing howl as I pulled back and launched. I opened my eyes just enough to see the dark figure over the barrel of the gun as he tore back toward the window, hurling himself over my table and scraping the window sill before he disappeared into the darkness.
My legs felt rubbery and hot; I sank onto the carpet and crab crawled into my bedroom. I chanced a glance out the window, but there was nothing below. Whoever had broken in was long gone. So I clamped the window shut, throwing the lock and closing the curtains and blinds for good measure. I crawled to my nightstand, leveled my breath, and dialed the phone.
The Underworld Detection Agency Chronicles Series:
1. Under Wraps
2. Under Attack
You can visit Hannah around the web here: Website
FTC Advisory: Kensington provided me with a copy of Under Wraps. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review. In addition, I don’t receive affiliate fees for anything purchased via links from my site.
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