When more than a dozen people die at a retirement home, the official story is carbon monoxide poisoning. Cèsar Hawke is convinced the reason is less mundane and more infernal. But that’s his job. As an agent working for the Office of Preternatural Affairs, he’s always looking for supernatural answers to deadly questions.
Isobel Stonecrow agrees to help him find the truth. With her powers of necrocognition, she can speak to the dead and get the real story.
But when they return to the crime scene, they find a lot more than cadavers. They find a nightmare that they can’t escape—a nightmare from Isobel’s past, which even she can’t completely remember thanks to the contract that signed away her soul.
Cèsar will have to disinter Isobel’s secrets to save her. He’ll learn who Isobel used to be, what she’s done, and the price she paid…no matter how deadly the knowledge might be.
Just in case you haven’t been paying attention, if it’s a book written by S.M. Reine it is automatically added to my TBR list. I anxiously await each new release and fill in the short lapses in between (she writes really, really fast) with books from her back list. She hasn’t introduced me to one of her characters that I haven’t liked… at least the ones that I’m supposed to like and some of them were ones that I didn’t like to begin with… well, you get the picture. The point of this little intro is that if I had to pick a favorite character of the many she has written, Cèsar would be at the top of that list. I’ve loved him since Witch Hunt, the very first book in this series. His ‘voice’ is so different than any of Reine’s other characters. I love his wit and his sarcasm. How can you not be entertained by inner dialogue like this?
Pops used to take my siblings and me to a corn maze every Halloween. The biggest damn corn maze that you can imagine. It had been so labyrinthine that the Minotaur would have gotten lost in it. Pops thought it was funny to drop us in there and let us try to figure it out on our own, while he drank with the farm’s owner. It pissed me off at the time, but now I understood it was good parenting. What else do you do with three unruly kids on a Halloween sugar high? Throw ‘em in a maze and go drink hard cider until they’re exhausted.
Yeah, I kinda love Cèsar, but there’s a lot more to love in the Preternatural Affairs series than just one character. He’s surrounded by smart, witty, secretive and mysterious characters. Fritz is full of surprises, Suzi is brutally honest and Isobel… well we learned a lot about her in Shadow Burns too.
There were so many twists, turns and revelations in this one that I can’t really say a whole lot. Just when I thought I had things figured out, it turns out I really didn’t. Just when I thought I certain of a character’s loyalty, I was disappointed in them. Then, chapters later, I felt like I had to forgive them for my lack of trust. I love that about this author. She pulls no punches, doesn’t sugar coat a thing and isn’t afraid to pull the rug out from underneath anyone. She’s got the ‘evil author’ thing down to a science.
Once again, if you haven’t picked up at least one book by this author, do it now. There are several books in her early series that are FREE so you’ve got nothing to lose and a lot to gain. You don’t have to just take my word for it though. Below you can find a couple of bloggers/reviewers who also give S.M. Reine a high recommendation. Enjoy!