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Dead Witch Walking

Kim Harrison

Average Review Rating Average Rating 9/10 (1 Review)
Book Details

Publisher : HarperCollins

Published : 2004

Copyright : Kim Harrison 2004

ISBN-10 : PB 0-06-057296-5
ISBN-13 : PB 978-0-06-057296-9

Publisher's Write-Up

Forty years ago a genetically engineered virus killed half of the world's human population and exposed the creatures of dreams and nightmares that had, until then, lived in secret alongside humanity. Rachel Morgan is a runner with the Inderland Runner Services, apprehending criminals throughout modern-day Cincinnati. She is also a witch.

Fuelled by pride, Rachel is a talented and unconventional runner, used to confronting criminal vampires, dark witches and homicidal werewolves. But her latest assignments - apprehending cable-stealing magic students and tax-evading leprechauns - have prompted her to break her thirty-year contract with the I.S. and start her own runner agency.

But no one quits the I.S.

Marked for death, Rachel is a dead witch walking unless she can appease her former employers and pay off her contract by exposing the city's most prominent citizen as a drug lord. But making an enemy of the ambiguous Trent Kalamack proves even more deadly than leaving the I.S.

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Reader Reviews

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Review by Chrissi (311006) Rating (9/10)

Review by Chrissi
Rating 9/10
Before I go any further I have a few points to make on this series, and they are mainly to do with the cover art. This particular one has the back of a young lady in leather trousers and a red bikini top, with handcuffs at her belt. I can honestly say that there is no way on this planet that I would have picked this from a shelf, on first sight it struck me as supernatural soft porn, if there is such a thing, and would have put me off completely. As it was, I was saved from missing an excellent book by the recommendation of a friend. Now this is a friend that I don't think of as a serious reader, as he still has my loan-out copy of Good Omens and that was from about 4 years ago (don't think I'll ever see that one again, but hey-ho). So when he raved about it, I thought that I should have a go, but he did say that the rather lurid covers were not an indication of the inside of the book - thanks for the warning, so I'm passing that on to you now.

This is set in modern times but after a genetically engineered disease has wiped out most of the population, the main groups of society unaffected were those previously viewed as mythical - the vampires, werewolves, witches and so on, known as Inderlanders. These groups came out of hiding in significant numbers and made themselves known, and are now living and working in the open with ordinary people although they tend to live in an enclave known as the Hollows.

At the beginning of the book Rachel Morgan is a witch working for the police service dedicated to Inderlanders, as normal, human, police services are ill-equipped to deal with the different groups of society. Rachel is bored and, being given only penny ante jobs, she is musing about leaving to work independently. Unfortunately the life expectancy of an independent runner would appear very short, if hearsay is anything to go by.

After one more disastrous job, Rachel determines to go it alone, not expecting that anyone else would consider joining her, until she finds herself with two partners - Ivy, a living vampire, (specialties include increased strength and an ability to read scenes by a heightened sense of smell) and Jenks, a pixy (whose specialties include tampering with closed circuit surveillance cameras). Having all left, it would seem that the only grudge held is against Rachel, and things get a bit hairy, with some rather inventive ways to try to polish her off.

When reading this I couldn't help but make some comparisons with Stephanie Plum, Janet Evanovich's bounty hunter. They are both sassy ladies who have some rather strange companions and who make some rather rash decisions but who come through their adventures unbowed. However, in Dead Witch Walking, the adventure is a little less slapstick (although it does have its moments). There are more smiles than guffaws but that is fine, as it develops into an engrossing story, with a heroine that you are rooting for even as she is being headstrong whilst trying not to accidentally get herself bitten by her vampire business partner.
Chrissi (31st October 2006)

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