The Good, the Bad, and the Undead (Hollows Series #2)

The Good, the Bad, and the Undead (Hollows Series #2)

by Kim Harrison

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Overview

It's a tough life for witch Rachel Morgan, sexy, independent bounty hunter, prowling the darkest shadows of downtown Cincinnati for criminal creatures of the night.

She can handle the leather-clad vamps and even tangle with a cunning demon or two. But a serial killer who feeds on the experts in the most dangerous kind of black magic is definitely pressing the limits.

Confronting an ancient, implacable evil is more than just child's play — and this time, Rachel will be lucky to escape with her very soul.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780060572976
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 01/25/2005
Series: Hollows Series , #2
Pages: 464
Sales rank: 60,106
Product dimensions: 4.19(w) x 6.75(h) x 1.16(d)

About the Author

New York Times bestselling author Kim Harrison was born and raised in the upper Midwest. Her bestselling Hollows novels include Dead Witch Walking; The Good, the Bad, and the Undead; Every Which Way But Dead; A Fistful of Charms; For a Few Demons More; The Outlaw Demon Wails; White Witch, Black Curse; Black Magic Sanction; Pale Demon, A Perfect Blood, Ever After, and The Undead Pool, plus the short story collection Into the Woods, The Hollows Insider and graphic novels Blood Work and Blood Crime. She also writes the Madison Avery series for young adults.

Read an Excerpt

The Good, the Bad, and the Undead

Chapter One

I hitched the canvas strap holding the watering canister higher up on my shoulder and stretched to get the nozzle into the hanging plant. Sunlight streamed in, warm through my blue institutional jumpsuit. Past the narrow plate-glass windows was a small courtyard surrounded by VIP offices. Squinting from the sun, I squeezed the handle of the watering hose, and the barest hint of water hissed through.

There was a burst of clattering computer keys, and I moved to the next plant down. Phone conversation filtered in from the office past the reception desk, accompanied by a belly laugh that sounded like the bark of a dog. Weres. The higher up in the pack they were, the more human looking they managed, but you could always tell when they laughed.

I glanced down the row of hanging plants before the windows to the freestanding fish tank behind the receptionist's desk. Yup. Cream-colored fins. Black spot on right side. This was the one. Mr. Ray raised koi, showing them in Cincinnati's annual fish show. Last year's winner was always displayed in his outer office, but now there were two fish, and the Howlers' mascot was missing. Mr. Ray was a Den boy, a rival of Cincinnati's all Inderland baseball team. It didn't take much to put two and two together and get stolen fish.

"So," the cheerful woman behind the desk said as she stood to drop a ream of paper into the printer's hopper. "Mark is on vacation? He didn't tell me."

I nodded, not looking at the secretary dressed in her snappy cream-colored business suit as I dragged my watering equipment down another three feet. Mark was taking a short vacation in the stairwell of the building he had been servicing before this one. Knocked out with a short-term sleepy-time potion. "Yes, ma'am," I added, raising my voice and adding a slight lisp. "He told me what plants to water, though." I curled my red manicured nails under my palms before she spotted them. They didn't go with the working plant-girl image. I should have thought of that earlier. "All the ones on this floor, and then the arboretum on the roof."

The woman smiled to show me her slightly larger teeth. She was a Were, and fairly high up in the office pack by her amount of polish. And Mr. Ray wouldn't have a dog for a secretary when he could pay a high enough salary for a bitch. A faint scent of musk came from her, not unpleasant. "Did Mark tell you about the service elevator at the back of the building?" she said helpfully. "It's easier than lugging that cart up all those stairs."

"No, ma'am," I said, pulling the ugly cap with the plantman logo on it tighter to my head. "I think he's making everything just hard enough that I don't try to take his territory." Pulse quickening, I pushed Mark's cart with its pruning shears, fertilizer pellets, and watering system farther down the line. I had known of the elevator, along with the placement of the six emergency exits, the pulls for the fire alarm, and where they kept the doughnuts.

"Men," she said, rolling her eyes as she sat before her screen again. "Don't they realize that if we wanted to rule the world, we could?"

I gave her a noncommittal nod and squirted a tiny amount of water into the next plant. I kinda thought we already did.

A tight hum rose over the whirl of the printer and the faint office chatter. It was Jenks, my partner, and he was clearly in a bad mood as he flew out of the boss's back office and to me. His dragonfly wings were bright red in agitation, and pixy dust sifted from him to make temporary sunbeams. "I'm done with the plants in there," he said loudly as he landed on the rim of the hanging pot in front of me. He put his hands on his hips to look like a middle-age Peter Pan grown up to be a trashman in his little blue jumpsuit. His wife had even sewn him a matching cap. "All they need is water. Can I help you out here with anything, or can I go back and sleep in the truck?" he added acerbically.

I took the watering canister off me, setting it down to unscrew the top. "I could use a fertilizer pellet," I prompted, wondering what his problem was.

Grumbling, he flew to the cart and started rummaging. Green twist ties, stakes, and used pH test strips flew everywhere. "Got one," he said, coming up with a white pellet as large as his head. He dropped it in the canister and it fizzed. It wasn't a fertilizer pellet but an oxygenator and slime-coat promoter. What's the point of stealing a fish if it dies in transport?

"Oh my God, Rachel," Jenks whispered as he landed on my shoulder "It's polyester. I'm wearing polyester!"

My tension eased as I realized where his bad mood came from. "It'll be okay."

"I'm breaking out!" he said, scratching vigorously under his collar. "I can't wear polyester. Pixies are allergic to polyester. Look. See?" He tilted his head so his blond hair shifted from his neck, but he was too close to focus on. "Welts. And it stinks. I can smell the oil. I'm wearing dead dinosaur. I can't wear a dead animal. It's barbaric, Rache," he pleaded.

"Jenks?" I screwed the cap lightly back onto the canister and hung it over my shoulder, pushing Jenks from me in the process. "I'm wearing the same thing. Suck it up."

"But it stinks!"

I eyed him hovering before me. "Prune something," I said through gritted teeth.

He flipped me off with both hands, hovering backward as he went. Whatever. Patting my back pocket of the vile blue jumpsuit, I found my snippers ...

The Good, the Bad, and the Undead. Copyright © by Kim Harrison. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.

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The Good, the Bad, and the Undead (Rachel Morgan Series #2) 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 746 reviews.
kimtiffani More than 1 year ago
As a sequal, this one picked right up where the last left off. The chacters are all here for the next chapter of this thriling series. I finally figured out Trent before the book told me. I still am working on some of the questions. Like- Why is Tent scared of Rachel? Who is Nick really? And what is on the agenda next for Ivy? On my way to Barnes and Nobel to get the third book. Even my son is liking this series! If you are up for a great thriller, mystery and a funny book (Jenks is a hoot!) this is the series for you! Don't just take my word, read the first one and get hooked like I did. Looking for another easy series to get caught up in? Try Marked or Twilight. They both are great, nonstop intrigue and fun, just can't seem to put them down.
Easily_obsessed More than 1 year ago
Kim Harrison must be a big Clint fan since she has based several of her titles in this series on Clint Eastwood films. There is even a reference in the book to a Clint Eastwood movie marathon. This second book in the Rachel Morgan series, The Good, The Bad, and The Undead, offers up a tighter crime drama than the first book, builds on the culture of this alternate universe, and hints at mysteries of the past. The writing has improved from the first book (though I still see typos) and the dark humor is laugh-out-loud funny. I love the lingo created by the "history" that predates the story. The romance between Rachel and her boyfriend Nick from the first book alternately heats up and cools down as they forge an unusual bond. Rachel's vampire partner Ivy struggles against her nature while Ivy's boyfriend makes a pass at Rachel, in a way that only a vampire can. Meanwhile Rachel warily partners with her enemy Trent Kalamack, whom she tried to bring down in the first book. There are grotesque scenes of death, a dangerous demon working more than one side, and a surprise romantic ending. The first book wasn't bad, but this one is an improvement that makes me want to know more. Some books read like a movie. This one reads like a cult-favorite TV show, episodic but with a back story that will keep building as it is slowly revealed.
doggis More than 1 year ago
Great Book. Should be made into a movie. enjoyed it immensely.
danBOOKe More than 1 year ago
Okay so obviously this book answers a lot of unanswered questions from the first one and leaving a bit open for the next book. But I swear it aggravated me to no end that every five pages or so this author has to describe what people are wearing, like this is a fashion show and I need a play by play... It was almost so bad that it seemed like it was just filler to make the book longer than it actually needed to be. If you can get past all that, the story is interesting and as always Ivy and Jenks are probably the best part of this ongoing series. Rachel unfortunately is still really boring to me. Meh, I'll start in on the next book in a little while... think I need a break from the series right now.
Devin Mora More than 1 year ago
I remember reading yhe first book and saying it was good. However after reading the second and the third book I am now hooked. I liked the Sookie Stackhouse books and if you like those books you will really like this author. Someone really needs to get her a movie deal.
Sydney_Australia More than 1 year ago
I love the Rachel Morgan series. Kim Harrison has created a world that any reader would love to escape into. Incorperating most fantasy creatures into this series brings you into a world you could never imagin. This series puts you into the head of a snarky witch bounty hunter, Rachel Morgan. She's a kick-butt chick who gets paid to do dirty work for "Inderlanders"(the fantasy creatures in the book). Along the way she has interesting incounters with a vampire roommate who has the hots for her, a demon who keeps trying th kill her boyfriend, and a big shot inderlander she's trying to bust for selling drugs. If you want a story with a high power female, complicated plot to fallow, and an overall amazing read yyou need to read this series.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
i have read all of the hollow books and love the characters and all the predicaments rachel gets herself into
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This was a very different and imaginative story. Have read all of the books in this series and each one as good as the last. Kept my attention could not put them down. Can not wait for the next.
BinkyBear143 More than 1 year ago
This book was just as good as the first
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
What can I say besides "love this series"!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This was a real page turner for me. I finished it in record time and intend to go right to the next book in the series. It is slowly being revealed that Rachel is magically stronger than she knows leaving the reader wondering just how much untapped power she has that even she has not discovered. I like the way the author lets some things remain a mystery at the end of one book but resolves some of that mystery in the next. I have just discovered this series so I am looking forward to reading the rest and discovering more answers with each book. The action, when there, was intense. I really enjoy the Rachel/Trent recurring storyline. Ivy is getting more interesting and Jenks always makes me laugh. I would like to have more Jenks, and I will find out shortly if I get my wish as I read through the rest of the books.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I was surprized and excited when I read this book. Her first-'Dead Witch Walking'-was good, but the main character lacked a little debth. I was VERY excited after reading this book because Ms. Harrison added that debth to character Rachel Morgan and, boy oh boy, did she ever get the rest of the book right. I have been so upset with Laurell K Hamilton's current direction of the Anita Blake series and now I have hopefully found a replacement. The next installment of Ms. Harrison's series will either confirm by hopes or dash them. This book was well worth the money! I suggest you read the first in the series to completely understand references in the second. Enjoy!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Things begin going wrong for Rachel Morgan right off the bat, as usual. First, the fish mascot she rescues for a local baseball team from its rival turns out to be the wrong fish; the missing one wasn't really missing, leaving her stiffed for her fee. Then, she is drawn into an FIB case. Witches are being killed, and the common thread uniting the serial murder victims happens to be that they met with Rachel's nemesis, Trent Kalamack, the man who put Rachel and her current love, Nick, into the rat fights as a mink and rat destined to fight to the death. The victims are also ley line witches. The FIB sends Rachel back to school undercover, as it so happens under a teacher who is determined to fail her. Soon, Rachel finds that the way forward is the way back, as she must look into her own past to find answers to the present dilema. Then, things become confusing and dangerous for her. Nick harbors a deadly secret that could cost both of them their souls. Ivy Tamwood, Rachel's best friend, partner, and living vampire, teeters on the edge of going off her blood fast- with Rachel. Someone wants Rachel dead, which is really nothing new. A charming, almost, demon, is determined to draw her into the ever after, which would make death look like fun. The FIB and IS are bureaucratic dolts. The only people who really appear wholly on Rachel's side and have lied the least to her, if at all are Jenks, her pixie partner and Trent Kalamack, who is supposed to be her enemy. Life gets weird. ............................................. ***** If you like 'Dead Witch Walking', you will love this. Rachel combines Stephanie Plum's daffiness with Eve Dallas' toughness. Her world is vast and complex as that of Sookie Stackhouse or Anita Blake. Jenks is a hoot, plain and simple. Though I'm not sure what to make of Ivy or Nick yet, Trent is turning out to be a fascinating character. Though at first blush he's a villain, by book's end, you might want to change your mind. *****
Guest More than 1 year ago
Wow! Rachel, the earth witch turning ley-line witch, has got a serial witch killer to catch, a hormoned up vampire in her house, and a human boyfriend whose bargaining with a demon as his past-time. Not to mention, the mysterious Trent...she finally discovers 'what' he is. I thought the first book good, but this second book has secrets revealed, sub-plots developed, and twists and turns all the way to the end. This is definately the better, that leaves you wanting what promises to be hopefully the 'best' with a third installment due out this fall! Definately should read the first book to enjoy this one completely!
Anonymous 12 days ago
Slow
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Good
etimme on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I thought the second book in this series read a lot better than the first one. Rachel finds out she's actually a very powerful ley line witch, which gives her some strength beyond charms and splat guns. We find out Trent's big secret, and learn more about Ivy's family. Rachel agreeing to to both become the demon's familiar and keep Trent's money was a solid capper to the book. I'm happy that Harrison is giving her heroine complex depth of character.
JamesterCK on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
My opinion: I thought the first book in the series was good, but wasn't sure when I would read this second book. But lo and behold it was one of the few books on my "want" list that I could actually find at my library, so I figured it was meant to be! This book finds Rachel struggling to make ends meet. Business is relatively slow and then she gets stiffed on a run she did so she can't even pay rent! She then gets pulled into a case by the FIB; someone is killing ley line witches and they think they know who. Their main suspect is a professor in ley line magic and "hire" Rachel to take her class and try to find out any information she can. One of the victims is the boyfriend of Sara Jane (the new receptionist for Trent Kalamack that he hired in the last book). She feels she owes this woman, since she was the only one who was kind to her when she was trapped as a mink at Trent's house. So she agrees to help, but it doesn't take her long to figure out that the professor is not the murderer. She becomes convinced that Trent is actually the killer, all signs point to him, but she can't prove it...yet. With the help of Ivy, Jenks, and Detective Glenn she sets out to find the truth. Will she make it through this run alive? I thought this book was pretty good. It's easy to like the characters (especially Jenks) and it's hard not to develop a connection with them. I liked the story line; it seemed so open and shut, but I know that would have been too simple. And yeah, maybe the ending was kind of predictable, in a way. But it did keep my interest and make me want to read the next book in the series. I really don't care for Ivy too much. Hearing about her fighting her nature all of the time gets old. And Rachel gets annoying at times, she keeps making it hard for Ivy and doing things she shouldn't to provoke her, but she refuses to move somewhere else (which would basically solve her problem). Ivy attacks her a couple of times in this one and she just refuses to change the situation by moving in with her boyfriend. Very frustrating. Plus Rachel continuously puts herself in ridiculously dangerous situations without backup...who does that? Oh well, it makes the story more interesting at least. So, while not as good as some series I have read, it definitely sucks you in anyway and want to read the rest of the books! My rating: 4/5 stars
AuntieClio on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I cannot tell you how much fun this series is. They remind me of when Laurell K. Hamilton could write a good story without all the purple prose and graphic sex. Don¿t get me wrong, Harrison can write good, steamy scenes too but they¿re shorter and leave a lot to the imagination. This book finds Rachel with a boyfriend, a crazed master vampire threatening her roommate if Ivy doesn¿t bind Rachel¿s unbound demon mark, a demon, the return of Trent, FIB, a troll and ¿ oh did I mention the baseball game?
demonite93 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
In this book (second in the series), Rachel (main character) again comes into contact with a Mr. Trent Kalamack (a.k.a the bad guy), as she tries to solve the murders of several witches in her city of Cincinnati . There are Master Vampires, demons, and all the other fun fantasy types of ¿monsters¿ involved. There¿s even a troll. In short I think this whole series, so far. The use of a witch as the lead character is a kind of relief from all the other books of this genre. She¿s flawed and more human then many other heroines I¿ve read before, which in turn makes her more interesting to read. I enjoy the fact that the author doesn¿t just stay with one or two types of mythical creatures but broadens it out to cover what I believe a more realistic view of this situation. I mean if all the creatures we always viewed as myths suddenly become a reality, it wouldn¿t be just vampires or just were-animals now would it? Well either I don¿t think so. The demon in this book sounds like he¿d be a lot of fun to hangout with. All the sarcasm between all the characters makes it a fun and easy read. The only problem that I had with this book is the sexual content. Don¿t get me wrong I love a good sex scene but it seems like these books might be slipping into the same thing that turned me away from the Anita Blake books. You¿ll read the first couple books and think right on these are awesome but then down the road they turn more into romance novels where every other 10 pages you come across another detailed sex scene where you learn yet another synonym for the male genitalia. I can¿t stand romance novels and I feel they are a stain on all types of literature everywhere. Anyways I hope I am wrong and this series stays to the main point of all the mischief Rachel gets herself into and out of. So far this series remains in a my good read category.
crazybatcow on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
There is a lot of pseudo-angst around Ivy and Rachel's living arrangements that I could have done without. It's like Harrison was trying to put in some lesbian tension without actually having the characters be lesbian. It fell short and felt kinda... greasy... because they'd have their pseudo-lesbian spat and Rachel would run off to have detailed sex with Nick (who, by the way, is as flat a character as I've ever seen in these kind of novels).That being said... the story does pick up just after the halfway point and the plot actually becomes quite interesting and the author at least attempts to explain the weird relationship between Rachel and Ivy... though I never did end up liking Nick at all. Rachel can and should do better than that sad sack.I will certainly be reading more in the series since I'm beginning to quite like the dynamics between Rachel and the rest of the recurring characters.
kingoftheicedragons on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I thought this book, the second in the Hollows series, was a great improvement over the first book as you start to learn more about Rachel's background and how the backstory of her and her arch-nemesis, Trent Kalamek, intersect. She starts to feel more like a real person in this book. This book is just a lot of fun to read, from the start when Rachel is trying to retrieve the supposedly stolen mascot for the local baseball team to the end when she is facing down the witch hunter. After reading this book, I'm convinced that I will continue to read books in this series.
thotcriminal on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
All of these books have a lot of humor and action. I love them.
",,,,A Fistful of Charms (Rachel Morgan/The Hollows
dragonfairy on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Kim Harrison's second Rachel Morgan book was just as engaging as the first. Harrison does a wonderful job threading her story and her magic. Rachel's life is a barrage of trouble and excitement. Rachel's adventures keep you enthralled and interested, while taking you down new paths. The introductions of new characters and the return of old villians combined with a more complex story provide hours of entertainment that are sure to have you wanting more. I was ready for book three when I finished this one.
willowwaw on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Pretty good book by Kim Harrison. I like this one more than the first book and will start the third book in the series right away!