Joseph Teller's Reviews > Black Magic Woman

Black Magic Woman by Justin Gustainis
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Apr 17, 2012

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bookshelves: fantasy-urban, fantasy-urban-horror
Read in April, 2012

This is the first book in the Morris & Chastain investigation series, a step into a the dark side of human nature, where a few uncommon folks face off against the sort of persons that live breathe and risk death to inflict pain, terror and death in the name of family feuds and a grasping for power and money.

It's an urban horror setting, where vampires might try to wipe out an entire small Texas town and turn them into ravenous monsters to serve their needs or a witch descendent from the early days of colonial America might seek kill every last living descendent of a woman who testified against hers at the Salem Witch Trials or a South African practitioner might go about murdering children to make an item of power to sell to a rich American businessman.

Quincey Morris is the great grandson of the Quincey Morris that helped destroy Dracula. Libby Chastain is a 'wiccan' white witch that helps strip conmen, fake spiritualists and fraudulent 'healer' priests naked in front of their audiences as the tricksters and cheats that they are, while wielding a small amount of knowledge and power of the real world magics that lie hidden from view. Together they fight evil.

Once you accept the magical conceit of the setting the book becomes interesting, though slightly predictable. It works as a standalone tale, but obviously has the build in hooks for the next novel in the series. It does suffer slightly from the 'sometimes to move the plot, a character has to do the obviously stupid thing' syndrome.

Overall enjoyable and quite readable.
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