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by Kim Harrison
HarperTorch, June 2006
544 pages
ISBN: 0060788194

Buy in the UK | Buy in Canada

David, the werewolf, asks Rachel Morgan, the witch, to accompany him to a witch's apartment to check on the status of a cracked wall. David is an insurance investigator and he wants to make sure that the crack is in a load-bearing partition and that it occurred normally. If he is wrong, his boss will be very unhappy.

Rachel agrees to this since David agreed to allow her to become a member of his pack (the pack consists of David and Rachel) so she can get cheap insurance. After all, in her business, she needs insurance.

When they get to the apartment, instead of an elderly witch and a cracked wall, they find a group of well-dressed alpha werewolves waiting for them. They want something they think Rachel has. She is confused but since Rachel is in a pack, they send Karen, in were form, to challenge her. She barely escapes alive.

When Rachel gets back to the church where she lives with her partners, Ivy the vampire, and Jenks the pixy, who left in a snit last autumn and hasn't yet returned, she finds her garden overrun with nasty garden fairies who throw things at her. Suddenly Matalina, Jenks' wife, turns up and sends the fairies away. She has come to Rachel secretly since Jenks is still miffed with her.

Their eldest son, Jax, has run away with Rachel's ex-boyfriend, Nick. Nick wasn't the mild mannered librarian Rachel thought he was. He is in reality a thief. He has been imprisoned by some werewolf packs, who think he has a charm that belongs to the weres. They are somewhere in Northern Michigan, and Matalina is worried that Jax will die of the cold.

Rachel's sense of duty overcomes her reluctance to go to Nick, who abandoned her earlier in the year, and despite the objections of Ivy and Kisten, her current vampire lover, turns Jenks, the four-inch pixy into a 6ft-plus man, and they start to drive to Michigan, where Rachel again faces joined werewolf packs.

This is a long but never boring book. All the favorite characters are brought back. We find out what happened to Nick after Rachel accidentally used him to raise a demon, and what happens when the good earth witch, Rachel, starts using demon magic to help her friends.

Reviewed by Barbara Franchi, May 2006

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