Rating (out of 5): 4 stars
Kim Harrison smoothly blends witty humor, crime investigation and the paranormal in Dead Witch Walking.
In Rachel Morgan’s world preternatural creatures are known to humans, though the latter don’t like it much. The two sides have done some self-segregation since the vampires, witches, shifters and others became known, with most humans on one side of the river and many of the magical beings taking to the Hollows on the other.
The divisions even resulted in two police departments. Witch Rachel works as a runner for the paranormal side’s, policing her own kind. She finds and catches people in the act, captures and arrests them. The only problem is, she’s getting crap jobs. She wants to be out on her own. The mammoth warnings she gets from her colleagues about the consequences of terminating her contract with the department don’t stop Rachel from quitting. Her boss, a demon, wanted her gone, and he was more than happy to let her go. Until Rachel’s friend, and top runner, Ivy decides to go with her. Coming from the upper crust of vampire families, Ivy is able to pay off her contract, but the demon isn’t pleased. He can’t take it out on Ivy, so he puts a hit out on Rachel instead.
The characters Harrison has created in this opening novel in The Hollows series are lovable and intriguing. In addition to Rachel and Ivy, we have Jenks. He’s a pixy, who agrees to join the two women’s team. He scouts for them and helps them navigate investigations. Also, he’s hella funny.
Where there are hints at romance in this novel, Dead Witch Walking is an urban fantasy with tongue-in-cheek humor and characters that will keep you engaged. This book took me a bit longer to finish than usual. I liked the characters and the plotline, but as with many first novel in a series, the world-building can slow the pace. The last third of the book kicked the action into high gear and pulled me through the pages quickly. Picking up the next book in The Hollows series, The Good, The Bad, and the Undead, is a must for me.