Demon Bound

Night Life

Pure Blood

Second Skin

Witch Craft
by Caitlin Kittredge
(St. Martin's, $6.99, PG-13)  ISBN 978-0-31294362-2
Arson isn't her gig, but Lieutenant Luna Wilder listens to her detectives, and when one of them points her at the first of several all-consuming fires, Luna's newly-developed supernatural "spook" squad investigates.  If Luna had known how much trouble this would bring her way, maybe she wouldn't have bullied the squad into the investigation – or, being Luna, probably she would have.

It quickly becomes evident – as supernatural beings no one has seen in decades start pouring out of the woodwork—that there is more to this arson investigation than just a fire. When an ATF agent with an attitude, Will Fagin, shows up at one of her crime scenes, warning bells go off in Luna's super-sensitive ears.  Now she's got smuggling tied in with her fires and strange supernatural artifacts.  However, as she is forced to get to know Will better, Luna also comes to understand that he's got more personally at stake than just getting credit for a gun-running case.

Luna comes under fire herself.  It starts with being stalked by selkies and progresses in an ugly fashion until she is literally under fire: her house is burned in a similar manner to the three previous fires.  Now, homeless and treading in territory no one, even witches, has dealt with in a long time, Luna comes to realize that someone she's close to is betraying her—to her death.

Forced to rely on her ex-lover, Lucas Kennuka, with whom she has a strange and dysfunctional love-hate relationship (especially after he stabbed her), Luna is so strung out that she stumbles into some situations that are dangerous to her.  As a werewolf, she's pretty hard to hurt and harder to kill, but she comes too close too many times.  With even less than a handful of people she is trusting out of desperation, Luna delves into an underworld of uber-powerful witchcraft, daemons, smugglers, and prostitution.

Witch Craft is a powerful addition to a series that started with a bang and hasn't notched down since.  Luna is an ever-growing character that is both hard to love and easy to admire.  The addition of a new human, Will Fagin, to the mix adds some new color; and the reappearance of Lucas opens old wounds, as Kittredge has a tendency to do and a knack for doing.  The relationship that has developed between Luna's aptly-named cousin Sunny and her former boss, Mac (the story of which appeared in an anthology not long ago), does show its face a few times but might have taken a little more light.

Readers looking for romance will likely be disappointed. The spark is still there between Luna and her Wendigo, Lucas, but though he'd be happy to pursue it, Luna's getting better about discretion.  The yearning for her mate, Dmitri, has finally lessened some, and he's mentioned rarely.  The only real romantic potential is Will Fagin, and it has some promise, but the two spend a majority of the novel butting heads.  Witch Craft is definitely supernatural suspense and its author, like her main character, is making no bones about it.

--Sarrah Knight

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