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Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea (Niki Slobodian, #1)
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Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea (Niki Slobodian #1)

3.67  ·  Rating Details ·  823 Ratings  ·  91 Reviews
“It’s not like the movies, where they don’t know they’re dead. They don’t often haunt people or places for revenge, and as far as I know they don’t befriend lonely children. Usually. If you could see them, you might not even know them from some of the living. Empty-eyed and looking around at the world like they can’t believe it’s all still there and going on without them. ...more
Kindle Edition, 160 pages
Published January 30th 2012 by Hellzapoppin Press
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The Pirate Ghost (Formerly known as the Curmudgeon)
This was a "buy on a whim" book. The "Whim" inspired by being free. It paid off.

It's a good read, light or easy/quick as the drugery or absense of drugery in reading goes (that's a good mark). There are a few "tropes" and "cliche-ish" things and characters in here, but Murry manages to make those appealing and fresh. It's sort of Kate Shugak meets Harry Dresden (or A Cold Day For Murder meets Storm Front). Both books that I liked.

The main character, Nikki Slobodian, was well designed and even
ᴥ Irena ᴥ
Niki Slobodian used to be a successful PI, but she was too successful as far as New Government is concerned. They used her trial to put her on the Registry (a list of people with abnormal abilities), she couldn't work anymore to pay bills and for the past year she has been struggling. With her grandmother in hospital, her criminal Summoner father in prison, she has to accept an offer from Sam, a strange man she meets at a bar that is not always there.

Niki sees ghosts and she can talk to them. He
Rich Meyer
Mar 28, 2012 Rich Meyer rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-in-2012
Excellent paranormal/horror novel with a touch of hard-boiled detective. Think Jim Dresden meets Buffy the Vampire Slayer minus all the Gen X baggage. Good plot, good characterizations and excellent prose skills are exhibited by Ms. Murray. Definitely recommended!
Jun 18, 2013 Susana rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: fans of urban fantasy
Shelves: urban-fantasy, 2013
3,5 stars

This city is full of ghosts. I can see them all. Lucky me.

Interesting start of a new series featuring Nikki Slobodian as the main character.

The only reason this doesn't get a four star rating, is because i needed more background on the setting in which the story takes place.
We don't have a time line. We are told, that things are very different of what they used to be in the past...a long forgotten past.

In this story, there's two kinds of persons: The Normals and the Abnormals. Guess who
Nancy Parish
Aug 13, 2012 Nancy Parish rated it it was amazing
JL Murray is a master of “suspension of disbelief.” At no point are you thrown out of the story rolling your eyes at some of the wonderfully strange happenings going on. “Paranormal Noir” is not the type of story I would normally pick up, but I was so intrigued with the author’s attitude toward writing that I had to see how that played out in her story-telling. I was not disappointed.

Murray’s characters, especially Niki Slobodian, are rich and multi-dimensional, and it comes across with surprisi
Aug 24, 2013 Earicka rated it it was amazing
Escaped From Hell And Other Disasters

This series must be read in order. This is the first book. I can't wait to read The Devil Is A Gentleman!

Nikki's life has been on a downward spiral ever since her ability to see ghosts was discovered and she ended up on the Abnormal Registry. Abnormals are not allowed to work... At least not legally. Struggling to pay the bills was hard enough before Sofi got sick. Now with the hospital bills, it is an exercise in futility. What is she going to do? Finding Th
Feb 14, 2013 Cari rated it it was amazing
You don't have to be told that Niki Slobodian is tough, you know it...a rarity in the genre. A woman of few words, it's not hard to believe that Niki is a detective that has seen more than a few nasty things in her life. All of the characters in this book have a certain depth to them, the enigmatic Sam, loyal Bobby Gage, Niki's notorious father, to name only few. They have a duplicity that makes them very real.

The book itself has that classic noir feeling to it. The world J.L. Murray has built i
Dec 31, 2012 Yasmin rated it it was ok
This book reminded me of an early Anita Blake, and sassy detective looking to solve a crime and not die while doing it. Along with a cast of varying talented men, the book is a fast read.

My biggest issue with this novel is the characterization of all the minor characters. They all sound the same and they're poorly developed. I didn't care about any of them. And because I didn't care, I ended up not liking this book at all.
Jeff Wombold
Feb 23, 2012 Jeff Wombold rated it really liked it
This book wasn't what I thought it would be, but it was a very easy read. A thriller about a summonner who brings an evil Demon from hell and whose daughter has to get rid of it. The book sort of draws parallels to X-Men in that there are normals and abnormals, just like there are humans and mutants.
Despite my 3+ star rating, I really liked this book. However, it was really short, and I would have preferred a little more focus on the world building. We learn that the "New Government" treats "abnormals" (half demons, psychics, summoners etc) as pariahs and outcasts. They're put on trial and placed in the Registry, which bans them from work and social welfare. But how did this come about? Details, please! This could easily have been included in a full size book. Character descriptions were al ...more
Feb 23, 2013 Marsha rated it liked it
I've always loved Private Investigator TV shows and books; so, imagine mixing up the P.I. concept with a female herione and a paranormal story line. What more could you ask for?

Nikki Slobodian's electricity is about to be turned off and she is close to being evicted. Life is tough when the police commissioner has place you on a list, ruined your reputation in the paper, stripped you of all means of support and your terminally ill godmother is about to be sent home because you can no longer pay f
Jan 29, 2013 Deva rated it it was ok

Between The Devil And The Deep Blue Sea follows Niki Slobodian, a nearly destitute Abnormal who stops at a bar, Deep Blue Sea, for a drink. There, she is approached, by Sam, who offers her a job. Niki can see and talk to ghosts. Because of this Abnormal ability, she was placed on a registry that branded her an Abnormal and therefore made regular life very difficult for her. Niki takes the job, gets the partner, and begins tracking down something that was let ou
Annette M Guerriero Nishimoto
Apr 18, 2012 Annette M Guerriero Nishimoto rated it really liked it
Today's review is on Between The Devil And The Deep Blue Sea by: J. L. Murray

It took me a while to figure out why I enjoyed reading this book so much. The quirkiness of the heroine Niki Slobodian, the mysterious Sam, and the magical sidekick Bobby Gage remind me of Kelley Armstrong's - Women of the Otherworld series, and a bit of Kim Harrison's - The Hollows series. (This is a great compliment as these two series are two of my favorites.)

Murder, mystery, and a quest for good to triumph over evil
May 14, 2012 Opal rated it it was amazing
Read my reviews here and on the Akamai Reader!

Niki was all that you could wish for in a strong female protagonist. She had humor, sarcasm in all the right places, and chutzpah. She also showed just the right amount of vulnerability when it counted. I couldn’t help but cheer her on as she was catapulted from one impossible situation to another.

I enjoyed both Bobby and Eli as supporting characters. Bobby for his hulking, almost brotherly presence and Eli for his romantic connection. I appreciated
Sadie Forsythe
Oct 24, 2012 Sadie Forsythe rated it it was amazing
Shelves: kindle-lendable
I really quite enjoyed this book. I found Niki to be a strong, quick-witted heroine. Her sidekicks were useful and there was a surprising amount of humour. It all came together in an interesting paranormal action/adventure mystery with excellent writing and flawless editing. There did seem to be a lot of history between some of the characters that made me wonder if I was really reading the first book, but I caught up soon enough.

My only real complaint, two-fold as it is, was that the book felt v
Aug 04, 2012 Tim rated it really liked it
Let me start off by saying I liked this book. It was something different from what I normally read, but it was a good paranormal thriller. And I liked the character of Nikki enough that I would like to read the next book in the series.

My main complaint about the book was the formatting. I got this book for my Kindle and was not happy with the way the book appeared. The type was incredibly small - smaller than any other book that I've read on the device. The other issue was the type was very ligh
Jan 07, 2013 Ana rated it really liked it
Shelves: free-ebooks
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Alice Black
Jul 04, 2015 Alice Black rated it it was amazing
When I picked up this book, I didn’t know what to expect but I was immediately hustled into the world of Niki Slobidian. She is an Abnormal living in a world where Normals persecute those who have abilities and powers seen as unnatural. She’s put on the registry to be watched closely but when a case opens after a Dark is released from a portal to Hell, she regains her normal life back and begins this mission to find out why and how the portal was opened.

This first novel of the series had me intr
Missy Taylor
Aug 19, 2014 Missy Taylor rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Missy by: Andi Smith
Shelves: dark-fantasy
Loved the story, characters, and the world.

J.L. Murray created a world with characters that make you want to read more. The story paced well. Character and story driven, Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea, kept me entertained and not wanting to put the book down. I immediately bought the second book upon finishing this one so that I could continue to read the series. I would definitely recommend this book to anyone wanting a good read with a heroine who is tough yet not cold. I usually hesi
Jul 12, 2012 Betsy rated it really liked it
Fans of Suzanne McLeod series or Vicki Pettersson's Celestial Blues series will love Niki Slobodian. This was a well written, well edited cocktail of noir.

I was not in the mood for anything heady, too complicated or convoluted and this was the ticket. Ms. Murray did an exceptional job of creating interesting and appealing characters -- both the bad and the good guys. The pacing kept the story moving and there was neither too much action or dead time. The feeling of cloak and d
Lisa Olsen
Apr 10, 2013 Lisa Olsen rated it it was amazing
In the land of free books, it takes a lot for me to relax and get lost in a story these days, and this book had my inner editor tied up in the corner by page one. The further I read, the more I liked it and Niki's badass voice. Author J.L. Murray takes us on a fast paced race to catch the escaped demon before he cuts a bloody swath through town, skilfully weaving just enough of the past into the present to make us care about these characters. She truly has a gift for setting the scene, her descr ...more
Jun 23, 2013 Cheryl rated it it was ok
I finished this only because there was some plot and I wanted to see how the author ended the story. The writing style, or more appropriately, lack there of, almost made me give up. At best, I'd say it was the level of an elementary school student. The writing was very simplistic, especially the dialog. In some places, the dialog was so stilted and corny, it was comical, when I am fairly certain the author intended to convey high drama. This book is the first of a series. Safe bet that I won't w ...more
Nayan Patel
I decided to read the book purely based on the blurb which I liked. The only redeeming factor of the book was that it was thankfully kept short.

Predictability, shallow characterization, lack of explanation and incomplete world building all contribute towards a very bland story. The main flaw of the book was that the author failed to put the reader in the protagonist's shoes which would have meant a more involved reading experience.

Would not really recommend this book considering the varied choic
Dec 31, 2012 JK rated it it was ok
This book was just okay. The two star rating doesn't mean it was bad, just that it was only okay.

I liked the characters and I liked the world the author built, but it was just too shallow this time around for me to really care about anything that happened. There was hardly any conflict or struggle in a battle that the main character mentioned more than a few times was hopeless. It actually came off as downright easy.

Hopefully with a bit more experience the author can develop this series to som
Jul 17, 2012 Monica rated it it was amazing
I really enjoyed reading Between the Devil and the Deep Blue, there is a really interesting plot with quite a few questions left to be answered that makes you want to read the next book. Niki Slobodian's character is strong but not arrogant and that made me like her more. There is detective work, action, fear and just a little romance creeping in but not taking over the story.

I look forward to reading The Devil is a Gentleman and hope that this series continues.

Well done J.L. Murray.
Mar 19, 2012 Nereid rated it really liked it
What a great line "I see dead people" and Niki Slobodian really does, she is an Abnormal. She can see the dead, has a dad who makes the Godfather look good and is hunting demons to survive. The new government is persecuting people like her, people who are different and she is out to save the world, one demon at a time. Action packed with a touch of romance thrown in and some interesting characters make this book a must read.
Sharon Michael
Dec 30, 2012 Sharon Michael rated it really liked it
This is just simply a fun roller-coaster book, suspend your belief and hang on for the ride. Lots of action, good guys and bad guys in equal quantities and not always inseparable. Also has a great kick-ass female lead that manages to be believable in unbelievable circumstances and also sidesteps the usual dumb female stumble into the deep stuff scenarios that too many authors seem to rely on.
Jul 22, 2012 Deidre rated it it was amazing
Although a little more back story regarding Niki's personal history (prequel perhaps? hint! hint!), I thoroughly enjoyed this book even without the prior knowledge. She ranks right up there with Rachel Morgan of Kim Harrison's The Hollows series.

Supporting cast is well written, plot is smoothly constructed, and the conclusion is satisfying.
Feb 22, 2012 Tracey rated it it was ok
I enjoyed the plot and characters in this story. However, the writing was mediocre. I found the storyline intriguing and a little different than the usual flair of the day. Even though the character development was apparent, so much potential was lost in the cliched and mundane writing style.
Taylor overman
Feb 09, 2012 Taylor overman rated it it was amazing
wanting to read soooooooooo....bad i love scary paranormal books!!
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This book is free for a limited time!! 1 7 Mar 23, 2012 06:37PM  
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J.L. Murray is the author of the Niki Slobodian series (Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea, The Devil Is a Gentleman, Before the Devil Knows You're Dead, The Devil Was an Angel, and The Devil's Backbone), The Thirteen series (Jenny Undead and Eat the Ones You Love), After the Fire, Blood Day, and the Blood of Cain series (Monstrous).

Murray is a firm believer that horror can be beautiful, and
More about J.L. Murray...

Other Books in the Series

Niki Slobodian (5 books)
  • The Devil Is a Gentleman (Niki Slobodian, #2)
  • Before the Devil Knows You're Dead (Niki Slobodian, #3)
  • The Devil Was an Angel (Niki Slobodian, #4)
  • The Devil's Backbone (Niki Slobodian, #5)

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