White Witch, Black Curse (Hollows Series #7)

White Witch, Black Curse (Hollows Series #7)

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by Kim Harrison

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Some wounds take time to heal . . . and some scars never fade.

Rachel Morgan, kick-ass witch and bounty hunter, has taken her fair share of hits, and has broken lines she swore she would never cross. But when her lover was murdered, it left a deeper wound than Rachel ever imagined, and now she won't rest until his death is solved . . . and avenged. Whatever

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Some wounds take time to heal . . . and some scars never fade.

Rachel Morgan, kick-ass witch and bounty hunter, has taken her fair share of hits, and has broken lines she swore she would never cross. But when her lover was murdered, it left a deeper wound than Rachel ever imagined, and now she won't rest until his death is solved . . . and avenged. Whatever the cost.

Yet the road to hell is paved with good intentions, and when a new predator moves to the apex of the Inderlander food chain, Rachel's past comes back to haunt her.


Editorial Reviews

Purebred witch/detective Rachel Morgan presides over Kim Harrison's urban fantasy series The Hollows. In this convincing alternate history, a virulent virus has attached itself to genetically manipulated tomatoes, unleashing a plague on all humankind. In its aftermath, numerous supernatural races have revealed themselves to the world: witches, pixies, fairies, elves, trolls, and demons of all sorts. Rachel, who also serves as a first-person narrator, must cope with this inchoate menace as best she can. In White Witch, Black Curse, an Inderlander predator and a dire presence from the past come to haunt her.

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HarperCollins Publishers
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Hollows Series , #7
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White Witch, Black Curse

By Kim Harrison
HarperCollins Publishers, Inc.
Copyright © 2009

Kim Harrison
All right reserved.

ISBN: 9780061138010

Chapter One

The bloody handprint was gone, wiped from Kisten's window but not from my memory, and it ticked me off that someone had cleaned it, as if they were trying to steal what little recollection I retained about the night he'd died. The anger was misplaced fear if I was honest with myself. But I wasn't. Most days it was better that way.

Stifling a shiver from the December chill that had taken the abandoned cruiser, now in dry dock rather than floating on the river, I stood in the tiny kitchen and stared at the milky plastic as if willing the smeared mark back into existence. In the near distance came the overindulgent, powerful huff of a diesel train crossing the Ohio River. The scrape of Ford's shoes on the metallic boarding ladder was harsh, and worry pinched my brow.

The Federal Inderland Bureau had officially closed the investigation into Kisten's murder—Inderland Security hadn't even opened one—but the FIB wouldn't let me into their impound yard without an official presence. That meant intelligent, awkward Ford, since Edden thought I needed more psychiatric evaluation and I wouldn't come in anymore. Not since I fell asleep on the couch and everyone in the FIB's Cincinnati office had heard me snoring. I didn't need evaluation. What I needed was something—anything—to rebuild my memory.If it was a bloody handprint, then so be it.

"Rachel? Wait for me," the FIB's psychiatrist called, shifting my worry to annoyance. Like I can't handle this? I'm a big girl. Besides, there wasn't anything left to see; the FIB had cleaned everything up. Ford had obviously been out here earlier—given the ladder and the unlocked door—making sure everything was sufficiently tidy before our appointment.

The clatter of dress shoes on teak pushed me forward, and I untangled my arms from themselves and reached for the tiny galley table for balance as I headed to the living room. The floor was still, which felt weird. Beyond the short curtains framing the now-clean window were the dirty gray and brilliant blue tarps of boats at dry dock, the ground a good six feet below us.

"Will you hold up?" Ford asked again, the light eclipsing as he entered. "I can't help if you're a room away."

"I'm waiting," I grumbled, coming to a halt and tugging my shoulder bag up. Though he'd tried to hide it, Ford had some difficulty getting his butt up the ladder. I thought the idea of a psychiatrist afraid of heights was hilarious, until the amulet he wore around his neck turned a bright pink when I mentioned it and Ford went red with embarrassment. He was a good man with his own demons to circle. He didn't deserve my razzing.

Ford's breathing slowed in the chill silence. Wan but determined, he gripped the table, his face whiter than usual, which made his short black hair stand out and his brown eyes soulful. Listening in on my feelings was draining, and I appreciated his wading through my emotional crap to help me piece together what had happened.

I gave him a thin smile, and Ford undid the top few buttons of his coat to reveal a professional cotton shirt and the amulet he wore while working. The metallic ley line charm was a visual display of the emotions he was picking up. He felt the emotions whether he was wearing the charm or not, but those around him had at least the illusion of privacy when he took it off. Ivy, my roommate and business partner, thought it stupid to try to break witch magic with human psychology in order to recover my memory, but I was desperate. Her efforts to find out who had killed Kisten were getting nowhere.

Ford's relief at being surrounded by walls was almost palpable, and seeing him release his death grip on the table, I headed for the narrow door to the living room and the rest of the boat. The faint scent of vampire and pasta brushed against me—imagination stoked by a memory. It had been five months.

My jaw clenched, and I kept my eyes on the floor, not wanting to see the broken door frame. There were smudges of dirt on the low-mat carpet that hadn't been there before, marks left by careless people who didn't know Kisten, had never known his smile, the way he laughed, or the way his eyes crinkled up when he surprised me. Technically an Inderland death without human involvement was out of the FIB's jurisdiction, but since the I.S. didn't care that my boyfriend had been turned into a blood gift, the FIB had made an effort just for me.

Murder was never taken off the books, but the investigation had been officially shelved. This was the first chance I'd had to come out here to try to rekindle my memory. Someone had nicked the inside of my lip trying to bind me to them. Someone had murdered my boyfriend twice. Someone was going to be in a world of hurt when I found out who they were.

Stomach fluttering, I looked past Ford to the window where the bloody handprint had been, left like a signpost to mock my pain without giving any prints to follow. Coward.

The amulet around Ford's neck flashed to an angry black. His eyes met mine as his eyebrows rose, and I forced my emotions to slow. I couldn't remember crap. Jenks, my backup and other business partner, had dosed me into forgetting so I wouldn't go after Kisten's murderer. I couldn't blame him. The pixy was only four inches tall, and it had been his only option to keep me from killing myself on a suicide run. I was a witch with an unclaimed vampire bite, and that couldn't stand up to an undead vampire no matter how you sliced it.

"You sure you're up to this?" Ford asked, and I forced my hand down from my upper arm. Again. It throbbed with a pain long since gone as a memory tried to surface. Fear stirred in me. The recollection of being on the other side of the door and trying to break it down was an old one. It was nearly the only memory I had of that night.


Excerpted from White Witch, Black Curse by Kim Harrison Copyright © 2009 by Kim Harrison. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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What People are saying about this

Jeff VanderMeer
“Harrison has a real flare for pacing and plotting.”
Charlaine Harris
“You’ll love this bounty-hunter team. . . . A fun-fair ride through a fascinating version of our world.”
Jim Butcher
“Blends the best qualities of Anita Blake and Stephanie Plum. . . . Kim Harrison carries it off with style.”

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White Witch, Black Curse (Rachel Morgan Series #7) 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 760 reviews.
Darsey_spudnick More than 1 year ago
This book isn't bad like some of the reviewers are saying it is. I think it moves the series along pretty well. This is not a stand alone book but definitely part of the Hollows Series. This book is like a middle book of a series and it is filler. You find out finally what happened to Kirsten so that Rachel can move forward. Yes, there are a couple new characters added to the mix like there are in most of Ms. Harrison's books. I liked the character of Pierce and Rachel's connection to him. I understand why we haven't heard of him before since she's usually too busy to really talk about what has happened in the past. I enjoyed Al's parts. I find him always interesting and funny. I think he brings more depth to the series. I'm glad one character is going away or at least leaving for a little while. He drove me crazy in the past books. I love that Rachel and Ivy are coming to an understanding and getting to know more about each other. I enjoy their interaction. Basically I liked the book and would recommend it to anyone that is following the series.
ILgirl82 More than 1 year ago
I didn't know what to think about this series when i first started it. I am use to reading mainly vampire books and this was a switch up where the main character is a witch. There are vampires in the series but they aren't as much of an issue as they are in actual vampire books, anyways after reading the first few books i started to really get into the story. The characters are really well developed, there's humor and action. I found the 7th book to be almost one of my favorites except for how the whole catching Kisten's killer played out it was a great book. I read the first chapter of the 8th book Black Magic Sanction and i'm super excited to read the rest of it. I would definitely recommend this series to my friends.
Y_B More than 1 year ago
It's presumptuous of me to be writing a review for a book not even out yet, but the author and series itself is enough material for me to praise. I'm one of those readers who bumped over here after leaving the recently depressing Laurell K. Hamilton party and found a new salvation with Kim Harrison. My first glance of Dead Witch Walking was seeing it on the recent releases shelf in one of the chain stores. I picked it up, just as I had with others on the shelf, nonchalantly browsed the summary and didn't find myself setting the paperback down. As it went, I paid, left the store, and it wasn't until I read through the first couple of pages that I found myself interested and congratulating myself on a lucky find. I relinquished my grip on the first book that night, and set my hand upon the second book and third book the following day.

I've reread each individual book numerous times, over to the point that I'll probably have to go out and buy a fresh copy of each because spines are held together by tape. That aside, I personally enjoy how everything is developing; I'm ecstatic that the situation with Al is deepening, disappointed that Ivy situation was stalled, marveling at character development, strangely proud of Jenks resourcefulness and sympathetic towards his predicament, and awed by the plot-twisting revelations.

The pacing has always been smooth, the action enrapturing, and the mushy-scenes not as annoying as you'd expect. With a writer like Harrison a reader experiences so many emotions and finds a plethora of details within just one chapter that you can't help reading the entire novel in one sitting. I know the next book will be better than the next, that WWBC will worthy of pre-ordering the hardback copy in advance and that it'll deliver up to my expectations. I'm horrible with expressing how great this series is, but I'm sure you'll get sucked in just like every other fan of this universe has. And having the opening titles being named after the familiar Clint Eastwood movies as a hook didn't hurt.
VoraciousReaderVB More than 1 year ago
I LOVED this series - and could hardly WAIT for this book to come out - I bought it the very first day. It took me over (2) weeks to finish it - every other book in the series took me 2 to 3 days at the MOST... I just could not get into it.. There did not seem to be much of a plot - the characters seemed so depressed and morose... Rachel who is usually so strong and in your face was just so down and out. It was so hard for me to stay with it.. I was really disappointed. It felt like it was just meandering aimlessly - hard to stay focused.
grind-to-a-halt More than 1 year ago
The first 2/3 of the book needed serious editing - the plot and conversations seems to meander and drag. Very little seemed to be happening. This was frustrating, because it could have been greatly improved with more work (and cutting) by the author. I think it would have been fine if she had had more critical editing and engaged in more rewriting. Do writers reach a certain level of success where editors and others who provide critique are too easy on them? I hate to see a good series start to flounder. The last 1/3 was far better - there is a great scene with Rachel, Al and others in an elevator - but the resolutions to the story lines were rather unsatisfying. Some new developments at the end of the book look interesting, and I like the series enough that I will read the next installment with hope that it is better than this one.
Seree More than 1 year ago
This review is in response to the reviewer who wrote how disappointed she was in how Rachel is portrayed in the new release. I was far from disappointed and actually found it very believable. An entirely new era has begun with Rachel, all bets are off on her character development. We had been taken down a certain road and could see who Rachel was becoming, but now Rachel is engulfed in flames which will reform her. Who she was becoming is burnt ashes. We don't know now and that essence of not knowing renews excitement. Anyone who has suffered the loss of a close loved one is changed forever, especially if that loss was due to the life being stolen through brutal murder. Add the fact Rachel was present at the murder of her beloved, and fought so hard to save him but failed, the murder so brutal that she chose to ingest a "forget" drug, that is a clue to her state of mind. That state of mind must be dealt with in future installments or nobody would be able to suspend disbelief. All flops are due to an author or screen writer failing to instill enough reality to enable the suspension of disbelief. This is especially true for science fiction or fantasy stories. I would find it unbelievable that anyone who experienced what Rachel has from the onset of the story and culminating with the brutal murder of her beloved not having emotional trauma and scars she must cope with. Initial grief has a life of its own which knocks survivors off kilter. Of course it will take time for Rachel to recover enough of herself to get back to her ass kicking and confident self. Rachel may actually be reacting to survivors guilt and walks into dangerous situations because she feels guilty she survived while he didn't. Her guilt from her inability to save him is an emotional wound; intellectually understanding the impossibility of doing so matters not a whit. Of course a writer can write anything she pleases, but for me it must be believable, allow me to suspend disbelief in order to be a truly great story. Going in to confront the banshee totally unprepared, while unlike the Rachel we have come to know and love is an excellent example. It seemed as though she subconsciously or even consciously, wanted to die. Of course she knows a child banshee under 5 kills everyone it encounters other than its mother! Rachel is grieving but not stupid. Nothing in these novels has ever demonstrated stupidity. Perhaps naivete, a bit of ignorance of things she has yet learned, but certainly not stupidity! I am sure future releases will depict Rachel slowly recovering herself. However, readers must be aware that with the death of her sweetheart the old Rachel is gone for good. I am looking forward to see who the new Rachel will become. Will she be softer, more in tune with her heart but still able to kick butt, or will she close off her heart and become colder and more likely to use demon magic for other than good? The possibilities are endless and we may see a little of this and that while Rachel learns how to be alive again, while she struggle with her growing powers and the grief and guilt that consumes her. This author has the writing ability, the writing gift, to successfully take us along for the ride while she reforms Rachel from the ashes of grief and loss, while keeping us engaged with action, magic and spectacular characters. I am excited to see where it goes.
Daphsmomma More than 1 year ago
This is my fav Rachel Morgan bk so far. Even over Every Which Way But Dead. I loved the whole story line. Im glad to finally know who killed Kist. And I'm enjoying the story that is unfolding about Pierce. I can not wait to read the next bk in this series. I love Trent.. Awesome characters in all of these books. I would recommend this series to anyone who loves the other worldly adventures.. love love love the story lines.
sugarplumfaery1 More than 1 year ago
This is the best Rachel Morgan book to date. It has everything in it from thrills to chills and a little bit of romance. I would highly recommend this series to anyone who likes paranormal books. Kim Harrison is a highly inventive writer. The book was almost impossible to put down
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Once I familiarized myself with the characters I was addicted. It is the seventh of a series and I had read none of the previous books so I lacked the basic understanding of the characters and their relationships. It came together eventually but I really wish I had read the entire series and intend to. This is of course an audiobook and the production and choice of the reader were excellent. It is an amazingly believable world that could easily pop up tomorrow inside our own. Kim Harrison has the gift of making these bizarre characters become part of your own life until you no longer recognize them as fictional and fantastic. It is a rollercoaster ride of thrills,chills and magic that will grab you and immerse you in a world you may never want to leave. I can't wait to finish the series.
Multifarious More than 1 year ago
I've loved the series since I picked up the first book. Urban Fantasy is very popular right now, but Harrison writes with originality and has characters you can't help but love. This latest in her series was a page turner, answered some questions, and moved Rachel's character along. I can't wait for the next book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
While I am a great admirer of Rachel Morgan and company, this book is not the best of the series. Also, every once in a while I would sort of forget about the plot and where we were. So, while it was great to be among old friends again, this was not Kim's greatest writing effort. I do hope that she continues to write more though. Only, better.
FantasyFanatic More than 1 year ago
I tend to agree with the criticism that the first part of the book dragged (this is noted only because her other books move quickly and purposefully) but I still love these characters and the series. Questions are answered and of course enough is not revealed so that I'll be awaiting the next book. If you are looking for a great series with off beat characters and humor, this is the one!
dalnewt More than 1 year ago
Being a series fan, I had to know the ongoing story of Rachel, Ivy and Jenks , but this contribution is somewhat disjointed with a mildly unfocused plot and less action scenes than desireable. It simply didn't seem to have the focus or pace I've come to expect and appreciate in the Rachel Morgan books. Nonetheless, I recommend this book to any Rachel Morgan fan as her character does progress and the unfinished mystery of Kisten's murder is finally resolved.
hlizmarie More than 1 year ago
I've been hooked on this series for years so it's no surprise to me that I thoroughly enjoyed the latest book. The story thread around Kisten's death and the final resolution to that were heart-breaking. I'm relieved to finally have an end to that tragedy both for my own curiosity since I loved the character of Kisten but also so Rachel and Ivy can move on. Getting insight into Rachel and Al's relationship was also intriguing. It's funny to think bad to where they started and now to see them almost harmonious in this book is a great development. Jenks is always fantastic but his worries for Matalina are incredibly touching and sad. Rachel seems to be becoming a truly unique entity in Harrison's world of Interlanders so it's hard to figure out where her story will go. She doesn't fit into any category any longer - not a witch, not a demon. I like the open-endedness of that. My only concern is that Rachel just keeps getting beaten down. I won't start listing all of the negative things that have happened in the last few books since the list is too long. My fear is that if all these negative things keep happening it will seem less and less realistic that she'll be able to keep smiling and keep her drive and determination intact. I don't want the odds against her to keep mounting so high that it will seem false when she inevitably overcomes them. My hope is that the end of this book signals a brighter time for Rachel. This series is resonates because it has such great characters that you want to follow and keep up with. You want to hear Jenks' latest insults and see if Ivy can deal with the bloodlust. Will Ceri's baby be healthy? Will Trent ever get the stick out of his @$*? Will Rachel FINALLY find peace and love. These are the reasons I stick around.
MidnightBlue More than 1 year ago
This books was not disappointing! I love these books. And this book was awesome. I really liked everything about it. The only thing I was kinda sad on was that Trent didn't show up a lot. I love Trent and I kinda want him and Rachel to become a thing. There is such a tension between the two. And I love it! Another thing that makes me sad is that this series only comes out once a year! So I tried to read this book slow...it didn't work. lol
KWBookFanatic More than 1 year ago
WOW! It was so good. It is nice having a book series that builds and grows. Seven books in and I still want more. Story plots are tied up, new ones begin and done with such ease it feels natural. I laughed with Rachel and I cried with her. Excellent continuation into the world of the Hollow's!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Love the Rachel Morgan series! If you're a fan of paranormal books this series has everything you want. Can't wait to read the next one!
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