Hostile Takeover by Cristelle Comby

Book Summary:

Moonlighting as Death’s earth-bound envoy, P.I. Bellamy Vale specializes in the weird, wacky, and slightly unhinged.

When a mysterious beast savagely mauls random residents of Cold City, the police assume that these are the killings of a rogue wolf. But experienced private investigator, Bellamy Vale, is unconvinced.

Ordered by Death herself to investigate, Vale has no choice but to obey for his boss is not someone to disappoint—if he wants to keep breathing, that is.

With friend and computer hacker Zian, interfering journalist Candice Kennedy, and homicide sergeant Melanie Ramirez by his side, Vale has no choice but to end the killings or face the wrath of the demon who literally holds his life in her hands.

Hostile Takeover is a fast-paced, edge-of-your seat paranormal mystery that will leave your heart racing, and have you looking over your shoulder.

WINNER Urban Fantasy Category in the 2019 Independent Press Awards

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Amazon Review:

The PI trope has been done so many ways in urban fantasy, but it’s probably one of my favorites. Hostile Takeover adds another name to the detective game as Cristelle Comby writes a surprisingly well-done UF series debut. Toted as a paranormal mystery, noir fans will still get a kick out of Hostile Takeover as will fans of the Dresden Files.

Death’s own detective, Bellamy Vale isn’t just hard to kill. It turns out Vale is impossible to kill, unless “Lady McDeath” chooses it and she’s got plans for him.

Yeah, Death Incarnate really was every man’s dream. They call ’em femme fatales for a reason.

This doesn’t mean that Vale doesn’t see his share of beatings, because oh boy, does he. As the very archetype of the private detective, Vale has few true friends, is persona non grata of local law enforcement, yet truly believes in what he does. He’s a bit of a throwback in that he has his own set of rules yet he’s willing to get down and dirty. His own moral compass leads him, even as he skirts the gray area of law abiding. Vale is a knight in shiny cynism.

The other characters, Zian – hacker extraordinaire, and Kennedy – nosey reporter, fit their typical characterizations to a T. Yet in a trope so frequently done and characters who are so typically portrayed, there’s still such a great voice to Hostile Takeover. Add in Norse warriors, giant scorpions, Greek gods, and Egyptian goddesses, and gates to the Underworld, there is no lacking of adventure, chaos, and sarcastic charm. Hostile Takeover leaves us with a great many directions and pantheons from which to choose for the next book in the series. Hopefully, there will be many.

Amazon Review:

Very good first entry in a new UF and noir detective series featuring PI Bellamy Vale, who has quick wits, a smart mouth, friends with ties to the supernatural, and ordinary friends who are No-Maj/Muggles humans. The plot is complex and has much introductory info, but is fast-moving, and its characters well-developed with interesting attributes.

The dark, broody setting may be on a world similar to ours, but it’s ingeniously expansive with hints of many supernatural parallel-worlds, and thus, room to grow. There are nice touches of early, mid and late twentieth century anachronisms: telephones with cords attached to wall sockets; an LCD TV; and bookcases with real, hard-copy encyclopedias, plus a Mafioso and a Latinx gangster couple.

As in other UFs, there are mythological beings/elements from Egypt and several Western cultures—Isis, Horus, human-sized scorpion, changelings, Valhalla, Vikings and a murderous Berserker; plus various Greek gods and offspring—living and/or existing amongst humans.

Good start, Ms. Comby!

Author Bio:

Cristelle Comby was born and raised in the French-speaking area of Switzerland, on the shores of Lake Geneva, where she still resides.

She attributes to her origins her ever-peaceful nature and her undying love for chocolate. She has a passion for art, which also includes an interest in drawing and acting.

She is the author of the Neve & Egan Cases series, which features an unlikely duo of private detectives in London: Ashford Egan, a blind History professor, and Alexandra Neve, one of his students.

Currently, she is hard at work on her Urban Fantasy series Vale Investigation which chronicles the exploits of Death’s only envoy on Earth, PI Bellamy Vale, in the fictitious town of Cold City, USA.