Book Review: Witch Hunt: An Urban Fantasy Mystery by SM Reine

Witch Hunt: An Urban Fantasy Mystery is the first book in the Preternatural Affairs series by SM Reine. When Cèsar Hawke wakes up after a grand celebration and a bit too much to drink he discovers scratches on his arms, a discharged Glock on his coffee table, and a dead woman in his bathtub. Regardless of what it looks like 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. However, the evidence is daunting and no one seems to believe him so Cèsar is on the run and out to prove his innocence. Isobel Stonecrow speaks with the dead, for a 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. Tracking down Isobel was the last case assigned to Cèsar. Now he is searching for he to find answers and to prove that he didn't kill that waitress. He can clear his name, get his job back, and bring justice to the victim.

Witch Hunt is a fast paced murder mystery and start to what looks to be a great series. Cèsar is a man used to rescuing others, and turns that experience towards capturing Isobel and clearing his name. His partner helps him as much as she can, but can he still trusty her? Dirty agents, the legitimate police, and still mounting evidence keep Cèsar on his toes, and sometime doubting himself. Isobel is smart and tricky. I really loved her spunk and ability to outsmart and out pace just about everyone. The mystical elements of witches, demons, and the like offer a unique world which is well built and explored in this series opener. The twists and turns kept me on my toes and guessing.

I would recommend Witch Hunt to those that like suspense and mystery mixed in with their urban fantasy. Fans of Jim Butcher's Dresden Series or Simon R. Green's Nightside series might particularly enjoy this blend of  investigation and magic.

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