Witch Hunt (Preternatural Affairs #1) by S.M. Reine

WitchHuntA brutal murder.
There are scratches on Cèsar Hawke’s arms, a discharged Glock on his coffee table, and a dead woman in his bathtub. Yeah, maybe he brought the waitress home for some fun — he was too drunk to remember it — but he knows for a fact that he didn’t kill her. He’s an agent with the Office of Preternatural Affairs. He doesn’t hurt people. He saves them.
The cops disagree. Now Cèsar is running.
The search for a shaman.
Isobel Stonecrow speaks with the dead…for the right price. She brings closure to the bereaved and heals broken hearts. But when she resurrects someone for the wrong client, she ends up on the OPA’s most wanted list.
One risky solution.
Tracking down Isobel is the last case assigned to Cèsar before he bolts. If he finds her, he can prove that he didn’t kill that waitress. He can clear his name, get his job back, and bring justice to the victim.
She’s just one witch. Cèsar has bagged a dozen witches before.
How hard can one more be?

CreativeDeedsReadsDisclosure1From the moment I started reading Witch Hunt I knew that this was going to be a different kind of story than what I was used to from S.M. Reine. I love the characters in her Seasons of the Moon, Descent and Ascension series. Those books are centered around Elise and Rylie and while they are very different characters, the vibe that you get from both of them is dark. From the description of Witch Hunt, it’s obvious that this isn’t a light and fluffy read by any stretch. It’s just that the feeling you get from Cesar is a lot lighter. I know that’s kind of vague and honestly, I’ve been struggling with the best way to describe it and I keep coming back to the same ‘feeling.’ Regardless of how I say it, what I’m trying to get across is that Cesar’s POV is fresh and totally different than the author’s other characters and I liked it. A lot.

The fact that I even liked Cesar was kind of a surprise considering who he was. If you’ve read any of the other books by S.M. Reine you know that officers from the Office of Preternatural Affairs aren’t necessarily the good guys. If you have any qualms at all about whether or not your opinion will change, ignore them. Cesar is definitely one of the good guys… well not perfectly good, but… you get the picture. The kind of ‘good guy’ that was just rough around the edges enough to be interesting.

Cesar wasn’t the only interesting character in Witch Hunt though. There was a full cast. The thing was that you never knew exactly who was on what side. I changed my opinion about characters more than once – and that rarely happens. Usually there is a turning point and you know pretty much what to expect. I thought that was happening this time, but I was wrong… and then I was wrong again. As frustrating as it may seem, I love it when that happens. Basically, nothing was EVER as it seemed. EVER.

This is one of those books where I could keep going, and going, and going and basically ramble on and on about what I loved about it. I don’t want to give anything away though – so I’ll just leave you with a little taste of why I loved Cesar so much. This is from the first chapter so I’m not spoiling anything, honest 😉

Would you look at that? A pair of open handcuffs dangled from my headboard. The key glistened on the bedside table, reflecting a sunbeam right into my aching eyeballs. I didn’t make a habit of decorating my bedroom with my work equipment, so I assumed that recreational use of my cuffs meant I had company. The best kind of company.
I swatted it with a finger and grinned at the clatter of chains.
My eyes traveled from the cuffs to my arm. Four bloody scratches spanned the space between wrist and elbow.
I’d handled enough crime scenes to recognize fingernail marks. And I’d been with enough women to know that some wildcats liked it like that.
Yeah, definitely a hell of a night.

SinnersAndSorcerersWitch Hunt is currently available as part of a set that includes 4 books from 5 different authors. I’ve read one other book in the set. Cursed by J.R. Rain and Scott Nicholson. I can’t wait to get to the rest. The other books include Called by Robert J. Crane and Flaming Dove by Daniel Arenson.