Title: Dirty Magic
Series/Universe: Prospero’s War, #1
Author: Jaye Wells
Publisher: Orbit Books
Publication date: January 1st 2014
Page Count: 416 pages
Age Rating: Adult (language, violence, blood, gore, depictions of drug use & addiction)
How I got my hot little hands on it: Received a copy to review
Publisher’s page: Dirty Magic
MAGIC IS A DRUG. CAREFUL HOW YOU USE IT.
The Magical Enforcement Agency keeps dirty magic off the streets, but there’s a new blend out there that’s as deadly as it is elusive. When patrol cop Kate Prospero shoots the lead snitch in this crucial case, she’s brought in to explain herself. But the more she learns about the investigation, the more she realizes she must secure a spot on the MEA task force.
Especially when she discovers that their lead suspect is the man she walked away from ten years earlier – on the same day she swore she’d given up dirty magic for good. Kate Prospero’s about to learn the hard way that crossing a wizard will always get you burned, and that when it comes to magic, you should never say never.
Dirty Magic is the first book of the Prospero’s War series, where magic is the drug of choice and wizard covens who cook the addictive dirty magic potions are the ones running the streets of Babylon city’s magical slum, the Cauldron.
Officer Kate Prospero has worked hard to distance herself from a less than pristine background in the Cauldron and now works as a patrol cop in the neighborhood, fighting to clean the streets of a seemingly hopeless stream of magic-addicted junkies and the potion peddlers that keep them supplied. She shoots a perp one night on patrol, learning afterwards the guy was an informant for the Magical Enforcement Agency (MEA), who are in the Cauldron setting up a task force to investigate a dangerous new dirty magic potion that’s been hitting the streets. Kate knows more than most the devastating effect magic can have on people and she’s determined to get on that task force. Of course, once she gets involved in the investigation, she realizes she may have bitten off more than she can chew, and bet more than she’s willing to lose.
I had a hard time reading this book in the beginning – it kept making me so angry, I found myself having to put it down and take a step back to calm down before picking it up. It wasn’t that it’s badly written, quite the opposite actually, I was so drawn to tough-as-nails Kate and her story that I found myself getting pissed off as she was discriminated against by her fellow officers and found her hand slapped away every time she dared to reach out for something – the woman couldn’t get a break and I really felt her anger over it. But Kate persevered and so did I.
Dirty Magic is equal parts Urban Fantasy and police procedural with an edgy kind of realness to it. The investigation parts were very detailed and well-written, I wasn’t at all surprised to read that the author’s mother worked in the police force or that the author herself attended a weeks long police academy – it really shows in the writing, this author knows what she’s talking about.
I really got pulled into this book. Dirty Magic was gritty and gripping, with a strong female lead who refused to back down when the odds were stacked against her. I absolutely recommend this book and can’t wait to get my hands on the other books in the series.
CoffeeAM Bourbon Truffle Flavored Coffee – a great coffee with a nice boozy, bourbon nip and a deep chocolate undertone with a little vanilla sweetness. I chose this coffee because in the acknowledgements section at the end of Dirty Magic, the author gives thanks to “makers of fine coffee, dark chocolate, good bourbon, and delicious cheeses” – I figure 3 out of 4 ain’t bad 😉