Preternatura Book Club Finishes DEAD WITCH WALKING

Welcome to this week’s “meeting” of the Preternatura Book Club! Today, we’re finishing up Kim Harrison’s Dead Witch Walking, the first in her Hollows series featuring witch Rachel Morgan. 
Next Wednesday, we’ll tackle the first two chapters of Halfway to the Grave, the first of Jeaniene Frost’s Night Huntress series—chosen by popular vote. This is a new series for me (you guys have been raving about Cat and Bones so long I can’t wait to dig in)—hope you’ll join in the read!
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!
When we last saw Rachel, she’d just driven away from FIB headquarters, where her old coworker Francis had been murdered on orders from Trent Kalamack—everybody knows it, and nobody can prove it. Francis was the only thing tying Trent to illegal biodrugs shipments.
As Rachel stands outside, she watches Trent drive away—and realizes that it was him, and not the I.S., who had summoned the demon to kill her. Her I.S. contract has been paid off, but it looks like she has an even more deadly enemy.
We pick up the story a week later. Rachel’s jumping at every shadow—not to mention a little girl on a pink bike—even though the I.S. death threat is gone. Because there’s still Trent, who keeps leaving cryptic and not-so-cryptic threats in the newspaper classifieds. At this point, with her I.S. mission achieved, Rachel doesn’t want to nail Trent. She just wants him to leave her alone, and the only way she can get enough leverage to do that is to make another trip to Trent’s house to steal a disk and get blackmail material. She and Jenks and Ivy have it all planned. 
It’s a seamless operation, complete with a Rachel lookalike who takes her place on Ivy’s bike while Rachel turns mink again and goes in with Nick posing as a lawn-service guy—they’d even infested Trent’s prize rosebushes with bugs so the lawn service would be expected. Nick even ate shellfish so his skin would darken and puff up as a disguise.
Once on the grounds, Rachel shifts back and break in (after Jenks gets Rachel electrocuted), and they make their way to Trent’s back office. Rachel gets the disk, but then they hear footsteps and Trent’s voice. He comes in wearing an English riding habit (full moon and time for the hunt). She doesn’t think he’s spotted her—until he has a gun pointed at her, or at someone. He seems surprised that it’s Rachel.
Their conversation is interesting. We learn that Jenks can wield a charm that Trent’s afraid of. And that Trent knows Rachel’s father died at the hands of demons. And Trent doesn’t act like he’s the one who sent the demon—in fact, he thinks Rachel did. Which leaves a big old question—who DID summon the demon?
Finally, Trent tells Rachel she can have a head start, and then the hunters will hunt her. She hears horns blaring in the distance, and dogs baying, and know she’s going to have to run fast to meet Ivy before Trent can get his horse and run her down.
As she gets on Ivy’s bike, she looks behind her and three horsemen sit in the middle of the moonlit road. The middle rider touches his brow in a salute. “What the hell is he?” Rachel asks. “I don’t know,” Jenks says.
In the final chapter, Jenks and Rachel and Ivy are at home. Rachel’s fixing dinner, and Nick is there. Rachel feels as if she’s among family. Nick’s still being kind of cagey. We learn Ivy has to do community service as a candy-striper for her FIB run-in. Just when all’s happy, Keasley droops by with an envelope from Trent the delivery man left for Rachel while she was gone. Rachel opens it, and her pinky ring falls out. She realizes Trent has taken it from her sleeping finger during the night—just because he could. Her blackmail is holding….for now.
LET’S CHAT! I know I’ll love Cat and Bones, but I sure am going to miss Rachel and the gang. I’d forgotten that we didn’t find out what Trent was in this book.
So, what did you like best about Dead Witch Walking? I love the play between Jenks and Ivy and Rachel. Jenks has the best one-liners ever. And, sue me, I love Trent Kalamack. He is just so…unfathomable and other. But I won’t do a spoiler and say other what.
 If you’re new to the series, will you keep reading? (I’m telling you—they get better and better and better.)
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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).

5 thoughts on “Preternatura Book Club Finishes DEAD WITCH WALKING

  1. I have read every book in this series. They are amazing- Kim Harrison is one of my favorite authors and I love her writing style.

    The next book you plan to read I might be on board with depending on my college schedule- I looked it up because I had not heard of it yet, and I’m very interested in the author. If I can get the book on time I will participate.

  2. This has been great fum. As I read this book a long time ago the re-read let me see things I had forgot about. I have read all the Hollows books and the Madison books. Also the graphic Blood Work.
    On my TBR pile I have Dawn Cook’s Truth Series and Decoy Princess Series. To say I’m a Kim Harrison fan is an understatement. Dead Witch Walking was my first Urban Fantasy read. Look forward to joining you next week with Halfway to the Grave which will be a first time read for me. Thanks Kim, Thanks Suzanne.

  3. So good! That ended w/so many questions. Im sad its over. I wish we were continuing w/this series. I have the next 2 books & will read them on my own.
    Having said that, I Love Jeaniene Frost! I have all of her books & will definitely read along.
    Thanks for getting me started on the Rachel Morgan books!

  4. @Summer…Hope you will join us for Halfway to the Grave next Wednesday!

    @Roger…I’ve really enjoyed it too. I first read this series only about two years ago. Someone from my crit group said Royal Street reminded her of the Hollows series, so I went and bought Dead Witch Walking, then immediately read all of them back-to-back. Of course now I realize my crit group member was GREATLY exaggerating. Maybe someday I’ll be a quarter this good. It’s now one of my favorite series!I haven’t read Kim’s other series yet, but definitely want to.

    @Andrea–Yay! I’m glad we’ve made another fan for the Hollows series. They really do just keep getting better (and you’ll get some of those niggling questions about Trent and Nick and the demon answered).