Preternatura Book Club: DEAD WITCH WALKING, Chapters 27-28

 When we last saw Rach, she wasn’t in very good shape after the demon attack. She’s sacked out on the sofa, bleeding, and Mataline (Mrs. Jenks) has gone to fetch the old man who lives across the street, Keasley. He’s convinced Ivy had something to do with Rachel’s attack since she’s obviously been bitten by a vampire, so he’s antagonistic toward her. Ivy keeps her temper in check for the most part, and spends a lot of time banging around the kitchen doing busywork for Keasley. Nick’s in the shower for most of this scene.

Keasley keeps using blood to activate pain amulets and put them on Rachel, who gets a little queasy as Keasley and Matalina discuss her wounds like she was a science experiment. Keasley trades Matalina some catgut for stitching up pixy wings in exchange for the plants from the garden he’s using. When Matalina says it isn’t her garden, Rachel corrects her and says the garden is hers and Jenks’—that they should consider it Jenks’ income. Rachel doesn’t realize what a gift she has given them, but Keasley does.
Keasley also makes Rachel feel better emotionally—she’s thinking what a failure she is, but he points out that a lesser witch would already have been dead at the hands of the I.S. Plus, she rescued Nick from the rat fights. He tells her she’s become the leader of her motley crew, and she should accept it and let people do things for her.
Once Matalina heads off to tell Jenks about the garden, Keasley begins working on Rachel’s wrist, which won’t stop bleeding. Rachel finally tells Keasley there was a demon attack, and not a vampire—she thinks the I.S. hired a demon to come after her. Keasley is doubtful—he’s never heard of the I.S. using demons. But he asks cautiously if Rachel made a deal with the demon. She said Nick did, and can tell from Keasley’s reaction something’s wrong. Her wrist won’t heal on its own, he tells her. In fact, it won’t heal until she agrees to owe the demon a favor at a future date. He recommends she just let it drip blood the rest of her life. She wants to pay Keasley, but he says all he wants is for her to let him trust her—consider a friend.
Later, Rachel relaxes in the tub while Jenks and Ivy leave to intercept Trent Kalamack’s suspected biodrug shipment. Nick claims he didn’t know the demon would demand payment from Rachel. She finally softens, and give him credit for being panicked and doing what he could to get her home alive. He shows her his own demon mark—he had to promise the demon a favor for healing his head.
As soon as Rachel says she’ll take the mark, her wrist starts burning. They remove the bandage and she has a round white circle with a line running through it—she officially owes the demon a favor. Nick needs to stay for the night, and while Rachel likes him she knows the black spellbook from the library—the one Nick stuck in her bag—is gone and he has it. She’s annoyed at her attraction to him and figures it’s because he seems to know his way around demons and can protect her.
The phone rings, and Nick answers it: “Morgan, Tamwood and Jenks. Vampiric Charms Runner Service.” Their little business finally has a name—Rachel likes it. It’s Jenks on the phone, and from Nick’s end of the conversation, things didn’t go well in the attempt to nab Trent. “Is anyone dead?” Nick asks. Then turns to Rachel: “We have a problem.”

Don’t you love Keasley? He’s a cool guy. I don’t think he’s a witch, is he? I can’t remember what his story is yet. Any more reactions to Nick? And how long before the demon will call in Rachel’s favor?
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About Suzanne Johnson

Author of urban fantasy, paranormal romance, and suspense. As Suzanne Johnson, she is the author of the Sentinels of New Orleans urban fantasy series (Royal Street; River Road: Elysian Fields, Pirate's Alley, Belle Chasse, Frenchmen Street (March 2018). Writing as Susannah Sandlin, she is the author of the Penton Legacy series (Redemption; Absolution; Omega; Storm Force; Allegiance; ILLUMINATION); The Collectors series (Lovely, Dark, and Deep; Deadly, Calm, and Cold); and the Wilds of the Bayou series (Wild Man's Curse; Black Diamond).

3 thoughts on “Preternatura Book Club: DEAD WITCH WALKING, Chapters 27-28

  1. Suzanne,

    Keasley is a witch yes! He also has another identity that we find out about later. A lot of Kim’s characters have secrets that are revealed slowly – really makes interesting reading. Nick is a good example of that.

  2. I knew you could tell me, Roger! You’re my Kim Harrison expert 🙂 I don’t know why I’d just blocked Keasley out.

    I love that these characers’ stories get played out in later books and in unexpected ways. Nick, Nick, Nick…

  3. I think Keasley is great! And Jenks & Matalina.
    I’m still not sure about Ivy & Nick. They both seen to be hiding something.