Touched (The Marnie Baranuik Files #1)



The media has a nickname for Marnie Baranuik, though she’d rather they didn’t; they call her the Great White Shark, a rare dual-talented forensic psychic. Twice-Touched by the Blue Sense--which gives her the ability to feel the emotions of others, and read impressions left behind on objects--Marnie also has a doctorate in preternatural biology and a working knowledge of the dark arts. She is considered without peer in the psychic community.

Then her first big FBI case ended with a bullet in one shoulder and a chip on the other, a queasy heart and a serial killer in the wind, leaving her a public flop and a private wreck. When the FBI’s preternatural crimes unit tracks her down at a remote mountain lodge for her insight on a local case, her quiet retirement is promptly besieged by a stab-happy starlet, a rampaging ghoul, and a vampire-hunting jackass in tight Wranglers. Marnie figures the only real mystery is which one will kill her first. 

Too mean to die young, backed up by friends in cold places, and running with a mouth as demure as a cannon’s blast, Marnie Baranuik is about to discover that there’s no such thing as quitting time when you’re Touched. (Summary and book cover courtesy of


I LOVED THIS BOOK.  If you are familiar with the Parasol Protectorate series, I’d say this book is from the perspective of Gail Carriger’s Alexia Tarabotti who was put in charge of watching Lord Akeldama - gone straight (and minus the steampunk).  That comparison does not do Aalto justice however, because her characters are original in their own right and have a life of their own.  Marnie is hilarious; I truly enjoyed her snark and sass throughout the book.  Aalto does a fantastic job with the banter among the characters without it being overdone. 

The story takes place after an epic fiasco and Marnie is still managing the fallout.  I enjoyed this aspect because it was like skipping the set up of what brought all the characters together (which can be dull some times) and they just sprang together with fully formed relationships.  Somehow it works and you learn the required back-stories quickly.  This was a packed book and every time I thought I was going to be disappointed with “story continues in the sequel,” I found there was more to the book.  This made the story so much more enjoyable and made me feel the story truly ended at a good point.  I've already plowed through half of the sequel and bought the third in the series.  I can't wait to see what's next!

Warning: Contains graphic horror (not sure how to describe it otherwise -> gore in ample amounts), sexual content and violence.

Please note: I received a free copy of this book in exchange of an honest review courtesy of Enchanted Book Promotions.

Rating: 5 stars!

Who should read it? Paranormal fans who will enjoy a dose of horror and British flair.

Want to read the whole series?

Want more?  See an interview with the author!