Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Review | "Witch Hunt" by S.M. Reine

This week is a two review sort of week due to not being in town to post next Wednesday.
Anyway, this week's second review is over another book that I was able to download for free from amazon. It's the first book in the "Preternatural Affairs"  urban thriller/paranormal series by fairly well known author S.M. Reine. As a big fan of Kelley Armstrong's "Otherworld" series, I was excited to read another story with a similar format. Before I get into my thoughts, though, here is the book's Goodreads description:

20747080A 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? 

Right away, I can say that I liked this book well enough. I finished in around two days and didn't really find that I had to force myself to continue the story. That being said, I don't think I enjoyed it enough to add the other books of the series to the top of my to-read list.  
Cèsar came across as a the stereotypical macho cop, kind of pushing the routine to the point that I was rolling my eyes. Also, the story starts out in a way that makes it seem like I should already know the characters- which, as far as I know, readers don't. I'm not sure if there's overlap with any of the author's other series as far as the characters are concerned, but being the first book to this story arc, it's safe to bet not all the readers will be familiar with the author's other works. 
I noticed quite a few contradictions.
There was a point of the story seemed to blame victims of abuse for being in their situations by saying the murder victim wasn't "that kind of woman" meaning she wasn't the kind of woman who would get herself into that sort of a situation. I understood the meaning the author was trying to get across, but I can also see people finding it insensitive. 
There was some dialogue that didn't seem natural. 
For being a fugitive, Cèsar really doesn't know how to lie low. 
Towards the middle of the book, the plot began to get rushed and chaotic. The characters no longer communicated with each other and there was quite a bit of awkwardly timed exposition. 

Again, this book is available for free, so that already makes it worth a try, it wasn't horrible, after all. It's far from perfect, and I personally would recommend Kelley Armstrong's books over this series. However, it's a quick, fun read, so I don't see much harm in checking it out.

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