Solaris, Dec 2008, $15.00
In Baghdad on the eve of the American invasion, five mercenaries use the unrest to break and enter the Iraqi National Musuem. They climb down three flights of stairs and open up a tamper-proof safe. They steal the Book of Shadows that was locked inside. The team leader Miles Hawkins takes it to black magic practitioner Pardee in the States on beealf of his dying client multi-billionaire Walter Grobius, who hopes the tome contains a spell to save his life.
Supernatural investigator Quincey Morris completes a mission in which he sees the preserved hearts of eight murdered children, Two FBI agents Dale Fenton and Colleen O’Brien inform him that children across the country are being killed. Quincey’s partner white witch Libby Chastain is also almost killed while taking a shower; eight white witches have been slaughtered and three more have vanished. The FBI investigates the murders using physical clues; while Quincey and Libby apply their paranormal skills to seek the same information of identfying the culprit. Meanwhile Libby’s life remains in danger from a person who never forgot she defeated him in a contest of magic. All roads lead to Iowa where Pardee and Grobius are approaching a critical moment on Walpurgis’s Night of the full moon. The Sisterhood uses their magic to try and avert a catastrophe while Quincey wants to do likewise but also save Libby from being a sacrifice and the Feds try to keep the summoning from happening.
EVIL WAYS, a worthy successor to BLACK MAGIC WOMAN, focuses throughout on the supernatural in the mundane realm with a myriad of subplots that tie together in a terrific battle between good and evil. The key to this exciting urban fantasy is both sides of the conflict contain fully developed key characters. Quincey and Libby are a dynamic team who bring plausibly to the plot even though they can move mountains when working in unison; in this case they may have to move the Great Plains with what Pardee and Grobius plan. Justin Gustainis makes his world seem real as the Field of Dreams turns into a nightmare.