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Black Hat, White Witch (Black Hat Bureau Book 1) Kindle Edition
Black Hat Bureau, Book 1
Remember that old line about how the only way out of the organization is in a pine box?
Well, Rue Hollis spent ten years thinking she had escaped the Black Hat Bureau, no coffin required.
Then her former partner had to go and shatter the illusion by showing up on her doorstep with grim tidings. As much as Rue wants to kick him to the curb, she agrees to hear him out for old times’ sake, and what he says chills her to the bone.
The Silver Stag was the most notorious paranormal serial killer in modern history, and Rue brought him down. Now a copycat has picked up where the Stag left off, and the Bureau wants her on the case. She beat the Stag once. They think she can do it again. But they don’t know she’s given up black magic, and she’s not about to tell them. White witches are prey, and Rue is the hunter, not the hunted. Always.
But can she take down the protégé of the man who almost beat her at her black witch best?
If she wants to keep her new town, her new home, her new life, then she has no choice but to find out.
- ASIN : B0986RRL7F
- Publisher : Black Dog Books, LLC. (June 28, 2021)
- Publication date : June 28, 2021
- Language : English
- File size : 2857 KB
- Simultaneous device usage : Unlimited
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 224 pages
- Lending : Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #2,248 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
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Reviewed in the United States on February 12, 2022
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*Caution spoilers ahead.
I had a hard time connecting to the book. Something about it left me feeling nonplussed and more than a little disoriented. The whole thing felt rushed and/or cobbled together. The exposition didn’t give me a clear sense of Rue, the town where Rue lived, the store where she worked, her neighbours, home, or Colby. (She has a feisty neighbour shoots people and has shotgun decals to match her gun to her clothes?). The first introduction of Asa didn’t include any description of him other than that he was handsome. I didn’t get the sense that Clay was supposed to be passing as human until 3/4 of the way through the book. He’s as tall as Sun Mingming, outweighs Shaquille O’Neill by more than 100lbs, and wears wigs every day. He sounds like the Marvel character Thing only wearing a wig. When the author later had Asa reappear the phrasing regarding his hair and jewelry made me think he was Native American rather than fae. When he transforms to his daemon form (that seems to bear a strong resemblance to Surtur from Thor:Ragnarok with Crystal Gayle hair) the daemon is still wearing his pants? Is he wearing shoes, too? I couldn’t envision it. And why does everyone refer to his daemon form as though it’s a completely separate entity? Repeatedly, throughout the whole book I kept having to go back and reread sentences to make sense of the plot and characters in order to orient myself. (She put her hand on the handle and the door exploded? The handle in question was to the SUV and the door in question was to the trailer).
As for the central mystery, I had a hard time understanding why the original serial killer needed to transform the souls into deer to hunt, kill, and consume the souls. I got that the author wanted to impress upon readers that the killer was hunting the girls, but remaking them into deer after he already hunted and kidnapped them in their normal form? Having studied serial killers as part of my education and consumed more fiction about murder than is probably healthy, the big reveal left me cold. It was the tertiary character that the author went out of their way to introduce at the first crime scene. Not the one named for the famous gun slinger. The other one. Apparently, he admired Rue when she was a ruthless Black witch and wanted to work with her and be like her. Then she left and he waited around twiddling his thumbs for 10 years before deciding to reenact the murders from her last case, at which point he went on a killing spree to get her attention. It’s basically the plot of the movie Copycat.
Rue is a former black magic witch trying to be a white magic witch. It’s difficult because she was very powerful using black magic and using white magic comes with some drawbacks in the power department. As it is in the real world, even though she’s trying to stay on the right path, it’s tempting to go back to what she knows best and is simply easiest.
Fortunately for her, she has an important reason to stick to white magic: a child. However, when her new life comes crashing down and she has to work for the agency that celebrated her when she was a black magic witch, her struggle to resist temptation becomes much harder.
Assigned to help Rue for the case are Clay - her former partner and best friend - and Asa. Asa is a mystery at the beginning. Of course, he’s hot and completely fascinating (pun intended - you’ll understand that at the end of the book 😉). He’s a rookie at the agency (despite his age) and not much is widely known about his kind. Learning about him throughout the book just caused me to crave more. I have so many questions about him! I am excited to see where this series goes.
I love the world building in this book. The whole idea of the Black Hat is unique and intriguing…bad supernaturals pushed into servitude to police other bad supernaturals. But like Gregory Maguire’s book (and the Broadway show) Wicked, it makes us question our definitions of good guys and bad guys. Certainly by birth, genetics, and history Rue is a bad guy. But is she really? How she perceives herself and how others perceive her is a big part of the book. The same questions linger for the other characters as well, except of course Colby around who, so much revolves.
This is a compelling read with a twisty plot. The crime mystery is tense and intriguing and the crisis moment had me on the edge of my seat. Equally compelling is the strange developing relationship between Rue and Asa, the half daemon/half Fae who is Rue’s former partner’s new partner. The cliffhanger we get on that has me anxious to read the next book.
I will definitely be binging this series!
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I’m off to download the next one and get my next fix! Haha.