Book Review: Witch Hunt by Cate Conte
Crystal shop owner Violet is having a strange day. Confronted by a city councillor convinced she’s planning to host a seance (she isn’t), she’s shocked when Carla winds up dead… and Violet is questioned about it due to the confrontation. But that’s not nearly as much a shock as her mother Fiona turning up, an unknown half-sister in tow… and performing impossible magic right in front of Violet’s eyes. Not only that, but Violet is apparently heir to not one, but two of the oldest and most powerful magickal families, a seat on the Council on the line, and just possibly, someone willing to kill for it.
There are two parallel but quite different storylines here, as Violet tries to figure out who killed Carla (since she knows for sure it’s not her) and deal with mundane world issues, at the same time as Fiona basically turns up and tells Violet to stop worrying about all that human nonsense, she has witch business to take care of. Now, I expected at some point the two storylines would come together and tie off neatly, but here’s the thing; they really don’t. In fact, both storylines are left unresolved, with a heap of threads not tied off - what’s the deal with the black cat, for example? What about the reporter who got magically mugged? Violet was so concerned and then just… forgot about her, and she’s never mentioned again. And then the last chapter comes out of nowhere; there’s just a One Week Later and suddenly all this Stuff is happening with no build up, no discussions. It’s like the author suddenly realised they had only a thousand words left to tie up the story and thought they’d better just hastily chuck in an epilogue.
I did like some parts of the story - the author clearly knows what they’re talking about in regards to modern-day witchcraft, tarot, crystals, yoga and related topics, and that knowledge shines through in those parts of the story. However, I think the author’s trying to tell too much story for the length of the book, and the failure to really mesh the two different sides of the plot together brought that into sharp focus. I liked the concept, but it’s not well executed. Two stars.
Disclaimer: I received a review copy of this title via NetGalley.