I received this book for free from the library in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review."The Curse of Four" by Caitlin Kittredge
This dark fantasy is a hardcover edition was published by Subterranean on October 31, 2011 and has 143 pages.
Explore it on Goodreads or Amazon.
Other books by this author include Corsets & Clockwork, Street Magic, Demon Bound, Bone Gods, Night Life, Huntress, The Iron Thorn, The Nightmare Garden, The Wild Side: Urban Fantasy with an Erotic Edge, Devil's Business, Soul Trade, Mirrored Shard, Dark Days, Black and White, Games Creatures Play
Supposedly this comes between the first and second novels in the Black London dark fantasy series set in a grim London and revolving around Jack Winter, a crow mage, and a former policewoman, Pete Caldecott. It seems as though it should come closer to the latest₀but, what do I know.
While it is a novella, or short story, this is an independent story. There are no other stories included in this book.
Dang, Kittredge is good! This may be a short story, but she certainly packs a lot in, and we learn a great deal about Jack’s past. And his innate goodness.
A non-believer, Ollie still comes to see Jack about a gruesome crime asking his help. One in which it turns out that Jack knew the victim. A woman whom he had tried to save from the path she was following many years ago. It seems she didn’t pay attention.
Now her murderer is stalking Jack₀quite successfully. With the police on his heels.
Jack Winter is the crow mage with the mouth on the boyo; he hasn’t a lot of patience for anyone and will use his magic or flick knife faster than you can think. Before he met up with Pete again, Jack used heroin to block his psychic visions. Pete no longer allows him that crutch. Instead Jack and Pete work as psychic detectives. Seth McBride was his first teacher in magic.
Pete Caldecott was a brilliant young detective on the force before she met up with Jack Winter again and learned that what she saw all those years ago was real. Now, she don’t take no shit from anyone, including Jack.
Ollie Heath was Pete’s partner. A skeptic, but a good friend. Ginger Annie is a ghost of a whore murdered back in 1942. Fiona Hannigan was an old girlfriend who distracted Jack from the business of the Poor Dead Bastards (Rich Whitehall was on guitar, Gavin Lecroix who had a knack and just wanted more, and Dix McGowan on drums)with her mixing it up with black sex magic. Seems she never gave it up. Gemma is a cold-hearted entrepreneur who sells everything and anything; she misses Jack as a client.
Matthew Killian is a reporter from Cellar, and he wants to interview Jack about the Poor Dead Bastards. Trent Waverly is the proprietor of Memento Mori, a club for black magic users. Damien Toskovitch is an underground mage with a whole lot of power that didn’t do him much good in the end. Just proves that ya gotta treat people the way you want to be treated.
The Cover and Title
The cover is absolutely gorgeous₀and incredibly eerie. Hats off to Ben Templesmith for the illustration work and Desert Isle Design, LLC for its design! It’s a murky browns with Jack Winter inserted into its midst wearing a white t-shirt on which crosses and crows in a graveyard glow framed by a city map on his right shoulder and bare tree branches on his left.
The title is a reference to what Pete’s Da used to say: the “The Curse of Four” ticks off what it takes for a serial killer.