Review of Whiskey Witches by Hannah Rohe

There’s a serial killer on the loose, and the killings are so strange that Detective Paige Whiskey is called in to solve them. Coming from a long line of witches, she’s singularly qualified to deal with sacrificial murders and the strange markings on the bodies of the victims. She soon finds herself in trouble, though, when she realises the bodies were left for her, to lure her into the killer’s hands. She’d thought she had no powers, but when a web of lies comes crumbling down around her ears, Paige is thrown headlong into a danger she could never have anticipated.

I don’t tend to read much paranormal fiction, but the premise of this book really caught my attention. A supernatural detective? A combination of magic and a murder mystery? I’m in.

It’s hard to say too much about the plot without spoiling it, which I really don’t want to do. Whiskey Witches is a rollercoaster of plot twists and surprises, and it had me racing to see what happened next. Pacey and suspenseful, but with a surprising emotional heart. There was no skimping on character – I wanted to know what happened with Paige and her estranged mother as badly as I wanted to know what the killer was after. The episodic structure of the book meant there was plenty of time to explore both character and plot within an episode, without having to cut corners on either.

I was somewhat disappointed that Paige didn’t get more chances to be heroic. It seemed like every time the opportunity arose, she’d get knocked out, or possessed by a demon, or be too emotionally distraught to handle the situation. Her distress had a very good reason, but I feel like she didn’t get the opportunity to use her power, or even her detective skills, to their full extent. Another copy-edit of the manuscript wouldn’t have gone astray, either. I kept getting jarred out of the story by a grammatical error or typo.

This is a great book for anyone with a taste for the supernatural, or a hankering for an unusual detective story. Pacey, emotional, and with moments of startling humour, Whiskey Witches is one to look out for.

Hannah Rohe

Hannah Rohe