This is a very promising start for a new series. Daisy Johanssen, the protagonist, is neither overpowered nor an orphan. She tries to think before she acts, and she has a strong sense of ethics. The conflict between the otherworld and humanity feels real, and the resolution to the central mystery of the novel is utterly heartbreaking. Be warned, however, that there are scenes of sexual violence, which may make some readers uncomfortable.
Pemkowet, Mich., has a diverse population of human and otherworldly residents, much to the dismay of surrounding communities. Daisy, half human and half demon, is the liaison between the local police department and Hel, the reclusive Norse goddess in charge of the underworld. Daisy is usually nothing more than a glorified file clerk, but when a young man from a prominent local family turns up dead — possibly at the hands of an otherworldly assailant — she ends up investigating a case that is more complicated and disturbing than anyone could possibly suspect. (ROC, Oct., 368 pp., $26.95)