Welcome to this week’s “meeting” of the Preternatura Book Club! We’re reading Kim Harrison’s Dead Witch Walking, the first in her Hollows series featuring witch Rachel Morgan.
Here’s how it works. Each week, I’ll post a summary (spoiler alert!) on two chapters, and we’ll chat about them. Try to minimize spoilers beyond what’s happened in the book we’ve read so far. You can read along, read ahead, or just stop by and read the summaries. After the Book Club has been up a few days, I’ll move it to archives so you can still come back and read. There’s a “Book Club” tab above. So, let’s get started!
DEAD WITCH WALKING, CHAPTERS 29 and 30
When we last saw Rachel, she’d just accepted the demon’s mark so her wrist would heal, and she’d learned something went wrong on Ivy and Jenks’ trip to intercept the suspected biodrug shipment from Trent Kalamack, but she doesn’t know what.
We pick up with Rachel and Nick in a cab, racing toward FIB headquarters (remember, the FIB is the human equivalent of the I.S. and the two agencies are bitter rivals). We know only that someone harassed Ivy and she went all vampy on them, sending seven cops to the hospital. Jenks is still at FIB headquarters, while Ivy is in custody and will be turned over to the I.S.
Rachel is still barely ambulatory from the demon attack as they go into FIB headquarters and have to wait. Apparently, Jenks caused quite a bit of damage—lots of people with pixie blisters on them. Captain Edden asks them into his office. Rachel kind of likes the cop despite the fact that he’s a human, even after she realizes he’s deliberately taken Ivy into custody to lure Rachel there—everybody wants to use her. We learn Ivy has fractured Edden’s wrist in four places and he’s in pain. In a calculated move, Rachel gives him one of her pain amulets. He touches it to say he won’t take it, but the pain relief is immediate. He recognizes that Rachel’s testing the waters with him, so he has his assistant bring her an aspirin in trade.
Finally, Rachel decides she has to trust Edden and tells him about what she saw and overheard at Trent’s estate, and that Francis, her old IS buddy, is taking minor brimstone runs as a distraction. She finally learns what Edden wants: Rachel, as a consultant to the FIB to help them learn how to deal with Inderlanders. They’re at a big disadvantage with the I.S. and they need help. Ivy and Jenks have already agreed, as long as Rachel does.
Rachel agrees, and they head to the airport to intercept the shipment. Jenks is released from the glass water cooler globe they’ve trapped him in and is seriously pissed. They’ve snapped his wing so he can’t fly, which means Matalina will give him hell, and he has coffee on his boots and mineral stains on his shirt. Rachel has to set him on her shoulder so he can see what’s going on, and he is one grouchy pixie.
Nick makes a good point—why would Trent Kalamack trade in illegal drugs when he’s already rich as sin? Edden guesses he’s funding a project he doesn’t want anyone to know about. Maybe in Faris’s lab, Rachel thinks.
Eddens gets a call that the plane isn’t at the airport, and when Francis passes them, Rachel realizes the plane was the decoy, not the bus. She convinces the FIB officers to U-turn and head for the bus station. They follow Francis in (Rachel’s wearing her old lady charm) and wait. He’s trying to chat up the woman at the ticket counter. Nick’s off getting Rachel a snack, and Edden is across the lobby when Rachel realizes Francis is leaving. She stops him, pretending to be an old lady looking for baggage claim—and then Francis recognizes her.
Rachel tackles him and as they’re rolling around on the floor, a blue ball of flame flies over the heads and blasts out the wall of the bus terminal. Rachel turns and sees three witches. Looks like the West Coast witches’ conference is over!
LET’S CHAT! Captain Edden clearly recognizes Nick but hasn’t put it together yet. Any guesses as to what Nick’s been up to?
I also thought it was really interesting that Rachel had never taken a human drug like aspirin. Actually, she’d never taken a pill before, but had heard about them.
Funniest part of these chapters for me was, as usual, Jenks. His rant and the description of his fight at the FIB headquarters was hilarious!