After everyone EMMA ROBERTS raises from the dead sinks back into the river, she longs for a purpose. A schedule. Something to accomplish.
Then OFFICER WALKER leaves a message on her voice mail: “There’s been another murder, and I need your help.”
With a bag of witchcraft supplies slung over her shoulder, Emma performs a séance for Walker at the site of the murder. But nothing happens until Emma gets back home.
Black smoke swirls inside the bathroom. An invisible force slams her head onto the tiled floor. A golden snake slithers across her legs, then impales her wrist with its icy teeth.
As the smoke clears and the images fade, the truth becomes clear.
This time around, Emma won’t just watch what happened. She’ll live it.
As Emma helps Officer Walker solve murder cases, she relives the horror of each victim’s last moments of life. From the edge of the river to the underground lair of the gang who murdered Steve, she endures it all.
As Emma weakens, both the victims and the murderers who killed them fight for control of her body and mind.
She’s possessed, and the voices inside her head won’t let her ask for help.
Even the Book of Shadows can’t save her now…
Worldbuilding: The world of the The Witch`s Handbook series is great, with witchcraft, paranormal elements, otherworld-travel (Almost Heaven) so fantasy elements too, some religious themes (exorcism & such) – in a plot-driving manner, not a bothering, doctrine-promoting way -.
Characters: Emma was really fun and easy to like. I loved her commitment to helping people and trying to make things right, though her disregard for her own safety was a bit unpleasant. I mean, helping people you care about is laudable, but when you do it disregarding your own safety, it’s a problem. But anyway, by and large I really liked her, mostly because of her awesome sense of humor.
Other characters were fun too, I liked Walker for instance – so I generally like detectives, shoot me, lol! – and his mom coming into the picture was a riot there for a while. But all other characters were fun too.
Plot: I loved the pace of events, because I felt it had a steady tempo generally with moments of accelerated pace of events, but not becoming rabid or distracting. The story involving crime-solving is a favorite thing of mine, so I loved the mystery elements and when witchcraft is used to try to solve them it’s a plus since I love paranormal elements. What I didn’t much like was the romantic tangent where there was a triangle-ish flavor which I abhor, but it wasn’t a main theme or element, so it didn’t get the chance to ruin too much of my read.
Writing: Fist person, present tense narrative, Emma’s POV. I liked the style, very dynamic, and coupled with Emma’s sense of humor it made for very lovely reading experience.
Curb Appeal: Cool cover, hooking blurb – impulsive buy material for my UF moods, all the more since it’s New Adult. I love this age group and genre combo.
Must be said I haven’t read the first novel in the series, but I jumped right in with this one and got everything really well. So don’t be afraid to jump into the series now, like I did, lol. And I wanna follow this series from now on, cause I really enjoyed a lot about it. Hopefully this triangle-ish thing will be gone by the next book, which promises to be really fun and full of action.
So, I recommend How to Ditch Dead Guys to fans of crime-solving-connected Urban Fantasy, witchcraft/magic fans, and to lovers of New Adult that doesn’t mean endless romantic drama or torment/abuse/enslavement/taboo themes.