VICIOUS MOON - Lee Roland
The Earth Witches - Book 3
Duivel, Missouri - The Present
Nyx Ianira, a San Francisco private investigator, is a former soldier and mercenary—occupations where her earth witch talent has helped her. While on a PI job, three Sisters of Justice come after her. Sisters police earth witches. After a long chase they abduct her back to the home she left over a decade ago in the Okefenokee Swamp. Her own familiar, the farting, drooling dog Herschel, helps them, the betrayer! It seems her grandmother had the Sisters bring Nyx home because her younger sister Marisol is missing. She left for training in Duivel, Missouri, a center for witches. Nyx goes to Duivel and finds Marisol's mentor, Laudine, who is not very helpful. She also meets Etienne, another former mercenary, who is immune to magic and tells her to leave the Barrows. It seems the Earth Mother has sealed a demon in the Barrows section of Duivel, but not even he can help Nyx. She is determined to find Marisol and will stir up any trouble necessary to achieve her goals. She will need to be to get beneath all the deception.
Etienne is a tough, canny criminal and foot soldier, and trapped in service to the demon. He keeps a very close eye on Nyx, which adds sexual tension to the story's mix.
Nyx is a strong woman, loyal and resolute, but with a soft, feminine side she's not afraid to show. She slowly figures out the combined puzzle of Duivel, Laudine, Etienne, and Marisol. Many secondary characters work to prevent her from putting the pieces together, and several of them are deadly. A puzzle for the reader is why Nyx never visited her family or her familiar for so many years; reasons are given, but they seem insufficient motives. This is the third book in the series, and I've not read the first two but had no problem following the story. It is an interesting read and will keep the reader paying attention to what has happened and what will happen next. The romance is low key and antagonistic, but satisfying. There is also a hint that maybe there is more to Nyx than one story can contain.