Kim Harrison has constructed a rich, complex world for her Hollows series. And Rachel Morgan is a character who is easy to love. She is a tough, capable witch, with a strong sense of honor and loyalty. As our story begins, she is a runner, an officer of sorts, for a paranormal policing agency. But she is miserable. She’s been getting terrible assignments and she wants out. Unfortunately, Interlander Security is a bit like the mob –or Hotel California– you can check out any time you like, but you can never leave. Rachel leaves anyway. She never expects a vampire-agent named Ivy would opt to go with her. So would pixy Jenks. They decide to form their own agency. And it’s a good thing Rachel has them standing with her: she’s going to need serious help to survive the hit her old boss has put on her.
Rachel gets the bright idea that if she can bring down a big fish on her own, the IS will have to back down. So she goes after Trent Kalamack, a high-profile councilman, long suspected of trafficking the drug, Brimstone. Rachel spends the bulk of the book intermittently trying to nail Trent –and to simply survive.
I have to say, the best thing about this book (this whole series, really) is the richness of the characters. Trent is so very compelling and confusing. There are times he seems like a potential love interest for Rachel: a sexy, powerful, lonely enigma. Other times, he’s painted as a monster: someone who will kill or break another person at will. Jenks is a wonderful, loyal and extremely dependable friend, who revels in Rachel’s respect and friendship. And Ivy… well, Ivy makes me a little uncomfortable. I assume that is because she makes Rachel so uncomfortable. The blatant sexual vibe she throws off in concert with violence leads to a great deal of uncertainty and tension, but somehow there is affection mixed in there too.
This is not my favorite book in the series. For me it really gains emotional resonance in For a Few Demons More and beyond. But this is where it all begins, and it’s an important step you can’t miss in this phenomenal series. A great Urban Fantasy world.
Dead Witch Walkingby Kim HarrisonRelease Date: April 27, 2004Publisher: Harper Torch