City of Ghosts is the third book in the Downside series. Chess Putnam is a witch for the Church and investigates reported hauntings. If a ghost is present she sends it to the City, which is where all spirits go after a person dies. If ghosts get out among humans, they invariably try to kill them. Chess is also a junkie, which has gotten her into some dicey situations. Her dealer, Bump has blackmailed her into working for him several times, off the books so to speak.
This installment finds Chess assigned to work with the Grand Elder’s daughter, because the Lamaru appear to be back in business and operating in Downside. Chess knows Downside the best, and she has earned a pretty good reputation in the Church.
The first time Chess goes out with Lauren to investigate, they end up in one of Bump’s buildings, and Chess bumps into Terrible for the first time since she saved his life.
Bump feels like he should be in on what’s going on if the Church is investigating in his part of town. Chess isn’t able to just tell him what’s going on, she has been bound to secrecy by the Church in a way that threatens her life if she breaks the bond. In lieu of just giving Bump a report, she is again forced to do some side investigating with Terrible, in order to keep Bump in the loop. To complicate Chess’s life further, the Lamaru, or some other witches, have been setting up shop in the tunnels on Lex’s side of town.
Did I mention that something may be going on with the psychopomps? They are the entities the Church uses to escort ghosts to the City. They are what stands between homicidal ghosts and vulnerable humans. The psychopomps seem to be a little less than reliable. Will Chess be able to keep not only herself, but the Church alive? Will Chess be able to get her personal life straight? Will Chess be able to keep her personal life personal while working so closely with a partner from the Church?
I am really enjoying this series. It’s a little darker and grittier than some series. It is kind of like the Kim Harrison series, minus the vampires and werewolves. I would highly recommend this series to fans of the urban fantasy genre. I give City of Ghosts by Stacia Kane 1 bookmark, it’s really hard to put down!