Unholy Magic by Stacia Kane is the second book featuring Churchwitch Chess, who works as a debunker (a kind of Ghostbuster). Chess is also a junkie. Normally a book which so heavily features drug use, especially by the main character would not be my cup of tea. Chess, however, is pretty high functioning for a junkie and gives kind of an interesting picture of how such a person can function and avoid getting caught.
Chess lives in an alternate timeline from ours. The timeline diverged when all of the ghosts rose up and killed a big chunk of the earth’s population. A small fringe religion that had believed in ghosts and magic, and had the ability to stop the ghosts became known as the Church, and all other religions were dissolved.
Chess, in addition to her job, looking into supposed haunted houses for the Church, ends up having to do some ghost busting on the side for her drug dealer, Bump. In this book, people that work for Bump, including some of his prostitutes have been turning up dead, and a ghost is suspected. So, Chess and Terrible (Bump’s enforcer) are teamed up again to investigate. Chess and Terrible have become friends since the first time they were pushed to work together by Bump. In fact, Chess and Terrible seem to be drawn to each other as more than friends.
Chess is also still seeing Lex, who works for Bump’s competition. It turns out that there have been bodies turning up on Lex’s side of town also. So, again Chess is forced to work with both sides of a turf war, and keep it all from her real employers at the Church.
I really like the gritty feel of this series, and it manages to surprise me here and there, in the who-done-it department. Chess manages to be a likeable, sympathetic character, in spite of my lack of empathy with her drug addiction. I would highly recommend this series. I have already moved on to the third book in the series, City of Ghosts.
I’m going to give Unholy Magic by Stacia Kane 1 bookmark, I had a really hard time putting it down!