An agent’s newest assignment finds him facing off against a nefarious witch hellbent on world domination in Cash’s (The After House, 2014, etc.) thriller-comedy.
Wes Rockville hasn’t been living up to his law enforcement family’s stellar reputation. When he screws up a prisoner-transport job, cop dad Harris gives Wes one last chance by reassigning him to the Witches Protection Program. Before Wes can utter doubt of witches’ existence, he and new partner Alistair Verne have a case. Witch Junie “Baby Fat” Meadows suspects something sinister is happening at Pendragon Cosmetics. There’s a lot of secrecy surrounding the release of a new face cream, and according to Morgan, the niece of CEO Bernadette Pendragon, the cream’s formula includes a bit of witches’ DNA. Wes, Alistair, and Morgan try to stop Bernadette from using the beauty product to influence others’ thoughts. The spirited novel establishes its rules right away. The program, for example, protects only the Davinas, the good ones, while the Willas are the dark witches who thrive on mayhem. Cash revels in his deliberately old-school approach: witches cook spells in a pot; they ride brooms; and their spells rhyme, like Morgan’s hilarious chant of “No time to waste, give me speed, slide down forty floors on my ass, indeed.” Readers will breeze through this quick read, and the cast adds to the fun: Bernadette is a villain so powerful she can take down a helicopter with ease; Wes may be a skeptic, but he doesn’t waste time discounting the things he sees—especially when it’s a woman transforming into a panther and using his foot as a chew toy. Wes is a fascinating protagonist whose biggest hurdle, it seems, is dyslexia, or what his gruff father flippantly calls “that reading thing.” The short, action-laden novel speeds past any nuances from developing characters’ relationships, but Cash does leave room for a couple of surprises. The story’s case is more or less wrapped up by the end, with a lingering impression that this could be the first of many to come.
Cleverly offbeat, often cheeky, and loads of fun.