Bleeding Out by Jes Battis is the fifth book in his OSI (Occult Special Investigator) Series which features Tess Corday, an Investigator working for Vancouver's Mystical Crime Lab. It's also, to judge by the way Battis opens the "Acknowlegement" page, the final and closing book of the series.
I'm not sure whether that's a good or bad thing.
On the one hand I am all for an artist closing out a series when the time is proper and the story has been told, as opposed to one that simply keeps churning out volume after volume in a series simply because there's a market for it and people will buy it. On the other, of course, I am not happy with those that seem to simply take a turn and begin somewhere anew before I feel that the story has been completely, y'know, told.
As this is the only book i've ready by Battis in this series i'm not sure where the story has traveled before its conclusion arrived at my doorstep, but Bleeding Out leads me to believe that this is not a character whose tale is completely told.
While the idea of a CSI working in the occult field is, perhaps, not that blindingly original of a premise, Battis comes at it with a cast of characters that not only have plausible chemistry, motivations and actions… they vibrate authenticity through the page itself.
The story begins with the simple and heinous murder of a powerful necromancer while Tess is on "vacation" from her job due to the extraordinary stress and trauma of her last case. The interaction of Tess and her co-workers throughout the 241 pages of this (much too short) book is superb.
These are characters I regret never having met before. While I can certainly go back and read the previous novels in this series so that i can get better acquainted with them, i am shocked to find that i am sorry that (if the acknowledgement be true) i've met them at the end of this particular journey in their lives.
Buy this book. Read this book. First, though, go buy and read the previous books in the series and then come back to this book.
Jen Battis is an author i will be keeping my eye on from now on.