Supernatural investigator Quincey Morris and his partner, white witch Libby Chastain, are called in to help free a desperate family from a deadly curse that appears to date back to the Salem Witch Trials. To release the family from danger they must find the root of the curse, a black witch with a terrible grudge that holds the family in her power.
The pursuit takes them to the mysterious underworlds of Boston, San Francisco, New Orleans and New York, stalking a prey that is determined to stay hidden. After surviving a series of terrifying attempts on their lives, the two find themselves drawn inexorably towards Salem itself — and the very heart of darkness.
Black Magic Woman is striking in that it has a world feels remarkably more real than most urban fantasy settings, which is a statement of how seamlessly Justin has woven the supernatural and the real together.
It is a book almost-painstakingly crafted together, but is so readable that Justin makes it look easy. Absolutely the kind of book that you pick up and finish in one sitting.
However, Black Magic Woman is one of those books that are ‘flat.’ Some of the interesting scenes that should have punched simply did not, such as the one where Libby reveals something intensely personal or the sex scene (I think there was only the one). Everything came together in a neat little package, including Quincey’s fabulous personal history (one of the highlights of the book for me), except that I think it should have had more of an emotional punch.
That said, you’ll be definitely be seeing more of Justin Gustainis soon, just like Jim Butcher says on the cover. He is simply too good not to.
Black Magic Woman rates 4 out of 5.
Disclosure: This book was sent to me.