Chasing Azrael by Hazel Butler
(Deathly Insanity #1)
Publication date: April 23rd 2014
Genres: Gothic, Paranormal, Urban Fantasy
When Andee Tilbrook’s husband died, her preoccupation with death turned to obsession. Thanks to her unique ability to commune with the dead, her husband remains all too close, yet never close enough.
Mired in grief, she clings to James’s spirit, slowly losing touch with the world, her friends, and any desire to continue living. But when her friend Josh becomes the target of Natalya, a jealous, capricious and violent Russian beauty, Andee somehow finds the strength to free herself from her misery long enough to help him.
They soon discover that Natalya is wanted by the police for her involvement in a series of grisly murders, and Andee is dragged into the inquiry by the same man who investigated her own husband’s death. Torn between new feelings for Josh, and fear that he might be involved in the murders that seem to threaten anyone who comes close, Andee must face the realities of her life, her past, and her very nature-and do it all in time to save her own life.
Hazel is an author, artist and archaeologist from Cheshire, England. She is currently in the final year of her PhD, which focuses on Gender Dynamics in Late Iron Age and Early Medieval Britain. She has two archaeological papers published in international journals, as well as several research papers published through Bangor University and the University of Vienna.
Hazel has also published Out of the Dark (an edited volume of Gothic art work, showcasing over thirty artists from around the world), All the Night-Tide (a collection of Gothic/Steampunk fusion short stories based on the poems of Edgar Allan Poe), and ‘Grave’, a short story included in Willow, Weep No More, a fairy tale anthology giving female characters more agency in their roles. Her new novella, Bleizgeist, is a Dark Fantasy tale about a young woman’s isolation and social ostracism due to her unique magical abilities, and her struggle to accept her true nature.
I couldn't help but think of The Smurfs when I saw the title since Azrael is the name of Gargamel's cat. I do warn readers that you might need to make the text a little bigger since some might find it a bit small. The wonder of Kindle books. I've never read this author before but I really enjoyed it. I do wish that certain words would have had a brief definition at the bottom of the page. I know the A&E is like the ER but I forget what it means. The book starts shortly after the death of Andrea's husband. It is two years later and she's still trying to piece together her life which isn't helped by the fact that she can see ghosts including her dead husband. Snippets of what happened that night are sprinkled throughout although I think I might have preferred the book to have just started with the events that unfolded that night but that didn't stop me from reading.
I found this an easy book to read. I really like the friendships that Andrea has. So many books are really lacking in that department. I realize that it has to be hard to figure out what to put in a book and often the friendships are overlooked for other elements of the story. Lily thinks that Andrea might be having feelings for Josh so she's dealing with that while crazy stuff goes down with his latest girlfriend. Things get very strange when a body washes up on the beach. This is a crazy ride that is perfect for those who enjoy friendships in books and paranormal elements along with a twisty ride. Characters in this book also suffer from depression. So if depression or suicide are triggers for you steer clear of this book. I really enjoyed it and think fans of Patricia Cornwell will enjoy this book. I also like that Andee as her friends call her isn't afraid to be herself which is a bit weird but I find that to be what I like best about her. I think this series is off to a great start and I look forward to reading more.