Witch Craft, by Caitlin Kittredge (St. Martins, 2009)

As the newly-appointed Lieutenant of Nocturne City PD’s Supernatural Crimes Squad, packless werewolf Luna Wilder is used to dealing not just with the very worst her beloved city has to offer, but with the disdain and distrust of those who fail to see a need for her specialized team. Unfortunately, the need for the SCS is about to become quite evident, when Luna and her people are called in to investigate a series of mysterious fires. Places are burning, people are dying, and supernatural creatures rarely seen in Nocturne City are trying to kill Luna. As if that wasn’t enough, she’s forced to deal with Lucas Kennuka, a far-too-sexy wendigo who’s on the run from the law and turning up at inopportune times. Lucas, however, is nowhere near as annoying as Will Fagin, the arrogant ATF agent who’s using his federal authority to meddle in Luna’s investigation. With the fate of the SCS, not to mention the city itself, at stake, can Luna trust her assorted allies long enough to save the day? Let’s just say she’s always managed to trust the right people for the wrong reasons….

The fourth in the Nocturne City series, Witch Craft is proof that Kittredge is honing her craft and improving with each book. Far from making this just another series about a werewolf cop, she’s breathed life into the setting and the characters. Luna’s a heroine I look forward to following with each new adventure, especially since she may be one of the most unwilling of werewolf protagonists around; she’s certainly not one to wolf out at the drop of a hat, no matter what the provocation. Toss in the complex, realistic relationships she has with her friends and coworkers, and you have a cast that’s pure fun to see in action. (Of special note has to be her evolving relationship with Bryson, a fellow cop who starts off as a real jerk early in the series, and grows into a real friend as time goes on, to the surprise of Bryson and Luna herself.) Once you mix in a fast-paced, intense plot with plenty of action, you have a slam-bang example of modern urban fantasy. I greatly enjoyed Witch Craft, like I have all of the series to date, and the next one can’t get here soon enough for my tastes.

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