When Richard Jordan is found dead in the woods outside of Coventry, the town’s reputation for being paranormal is put into the spotlight.
Richard wasn’t just murdered. The hunters that found him were shocked by what looked like a Satanic ritual murder.
Suddenly, the town’s regular tourism starts to dry up. In its place is a flood of weirdos and wannabe Satanists who are there to finish the ritual they believe Richard’s murder began.
Is this the apocalyptic scenario that Kinsley was prophesied to stop? Or, did someone want the town drunk dead and used a bunch of dark magical items to make it look paranormal?
What about the mysterious black book that shows up on Kinsley’s doorstep? Does it hold the key to solving the crime, or does it represent something far more sinister?
Aside from solving the last case, we had the shock of Kinsley handfasting to Azriel, then the next morning he does a disappearing act. A couple days later Thorn comes by with the explanation, and somehow Kinsley and Thorn are together again. There’s also the revelation of in Meri’s words ‘another creature’.
When Kinsley tells Thorn she’s pregnant, he says it’s okay, but needs some time to process. He’s gone to his family’s hunting cabin which is nearby but isolated. He hasn’t completely withdrawn either texting every night. She’s spending more time with Reggie as well, since Jeremy’s still overseas. Reggie has video calls with him frequently lately since he’s where it’s allowed at the moment. That can always change though so they take advantage of it as often as possible.
For the first time, customers make Kinsley uncomfortable, and Meri confirms they have demonic energy around them. They don’t hang around just make their purchases and leave. After closing the store she arrives home with Meri to find a book on the porch steps. It’s an old language and one Meri doesn’t understand, but the book itself makes Kinsley cautious. The next morning, she wakes up in the cemetery by the Crypt with no recollection of how she got there, no phone and Meri had slept through her leaving. They decide to take the book to Remy but somehow, they forget to do that.
Reggie has a fight with Jeremy and instead of going to Kinsley she heads to the local bar. Kinsley gets a late call from the bartender and goes to pick her up. They witness two things, an argument between Esadora Darkmore and the town drunk Richard Jordan. Esadora was sending a spell his way and Kinsley stops it, warns her, and sends her on her way. Richard wasn’t appreciative but stumbles off toward the road. Then second is the accident caused by Richard as the truck swerved to avoid hitting the man in the middle of the street. When they get back to Hangman’s House, Kinsley had a lot of missed texts from Thorn, apparently, Reggie didn’t have her phone and Jeremy is frantic trying to reach her. Kinsley offers her phone and heads back to bed. Only to wake in the morning in the middle of the road in front of Hangman’s House and once again Meri slept through it.
Thorn has a flat tire and asks Kinsley to come get him, for some reason there’s no spare. It’s on the way there with Meri that she sees Richard’s ghost and finds his body. Thorn runs to meet her there and calls it in. This leads to a very interesting conversation with his deputy Lincoln Raines. He seems to think that both Thorn and Kinsley are suspects. But Thorn steps back from the investigation anyway.
Kinsley still has the book, it seems no one has called Remy about it. When they do Remy takes it to the Skeenbauer Crypt, he doesn’t want anyone else to get their hands on it. It’s pure evil.
Kinsley sleepwalks again and wakes far away from home with the book. How that happened she has no idea. She’s able to get Meri and he guides her to get them both home.
This is a favorite scene.
The spell that protected Coventry kept anyone who did see me from registering what they saw. Once I got out into the country, there just wasn’t anyone out there.
Was I going to do the same thing to get back? That time there wasn’t anyone asleep in their car to give me a ride, and once again I didn’t bring my phone.
Then I remembered what Meri had done. He’d used some sort of magic to teleport into my purse. He said he’d used one of the tunnels in the house wall, and I couldn’t do that. But, maybe there was still a way. If I could stop myself outside of Hangman’s House instead of going all the way back inside.
I’d need his help. The problem was that he didn’t wake up when I went on a sleepwalk. He was home in bed, blissfully unaware that I was out in the middle of nowhere.
If I could reach him, though. Maybe he could teleport out to me and help me get back. I needed his help creating a port big enough for me to move through, but perhaps I could create one big enough for me to send a message all on my own.
I closed my eyes and imagined that all of the space between us was a very narrow tunnel. I couldn’t walk through it or even reach my hand through, but when I moved it the right way, I could see Meri sleeping peacefully on my bed.
The word didn’t come from my lips, but instead, I said it using the connection between us. The silver thread that connected us snaked its way through the tunnel all along, but when I said his name, it lit up like the moonlight suddenly hit it.
Because it had. Meri was then connected to where I was. His eyes opened, and he stretched.
It took him a second to realize what was going on, but when he did, Meri jumped to his feet.
“Kinsley.” He said the word out loud, but we were connected through space-time, and I could hear him.
“I’m here. I’m out here all alone. Please use your tunnel and come get me,” I said.
I felt a sudden wave of nausea, and the connection closed. I was woozy, and just opening and maintaining that connection had drained me. If he could make it out to me, it would take everything I had to get back. I’d have to lean on Meri’s magic to even have a chance.
He appeared next to me.
“Meri!” I said and clapped my hands together. “You’re here. Oh, thank goodness.”
“Where are we?” he groused.
“I don’t know. Somewhere out in the country,” I said. “But what’s important was that I could reach you. And you could come here to me.”
“Yeah, but now we’re both stuck out here,” he said. “Well, at least we’re together.”
“We’re not stuck,” I said hopefully. “You can teleport us back. We can do it together. I think I can stop us before we hit your tunnel in the wall.”
“That’s not a good idea.”
“We have to, Meri. I think it will take less energy to do that than for me to try and speed us back. I don’t know exactly where we are, but I have this feeling it’s really far away. I must have unconsciously used so much of my magic to get out here. Porting back is our best option.” I tried to convince him.
“We should just wait here for a couple of hours until dawn. We can go up to that house and ask to use their phone. Maybe they’d even give us a ride,” he replied.
I felt a chill run down my spine. “Something’s wrong. We can’t wait,” I said.
He narrowed his eyes and studied me for a moment. Then, I watched as the hair on his back stood up and his little tail fluffed out. Meri could feel it too.
“Alright, fine. We’ll give it a try, but if it doesn’t work we just have to wake those people in the house up. I’m sure you can convince them, either with magic or a good story, into helping us. Deal?”
“Deal,” I said.
“Okay, so do the same thing you did before, except that you make the tunnel bigger,” he said.
“I can’t, or I would have just done that before. I would have just come home,” I protested.
“Right, that’s why you have to connect with that tunnel in the wall. I’ll augment your magic to make the tunnel big enough for you to move through. You will have to use some speed because we won’t be able to hold it for long.”
“I don’t know what the tunnel in the wall looks like. I’ve never been in there,” I said.
“You just start the vision, and I’ll join you. I can fill in that part. Now, here’s the most important piece. Once we move through it, you have to stop us before we get to the house. Otherwise, you’ll end up squished in the wall,” he said.
“Your best bet is to count to five when we step through and then stop us,” he said. “No, three. Do three.”
“Is it three, or is it five?” I asked. “Be sure.”
“How can I be sure? I’ve never done this. Anyway, do three. Even if we just get back to Coventry, we can walk the rest of the way. Closer to the ley line, it will be easier for you to use other magic.”
That’s why I had drained so fast. I was so far from the ley line that ran through Coventry and gave us our extra magical strength.
“Okay, let’s do this,” I said. “We’ll open the tunnel. When it’s big enough for me to walk through, I’ll step in, count to three, and hopefully end up on the front porch.”
Meri gave me a nod, and we began. I opened the vision, and just as he’d said, he joined in. I felt a little dizzy as I tried to open the tunnel, but with Meri pressed against my leg, I had the strength to do it.
He joined the tunnel to the house, and it grew large enough for me to enter. I didn’t hesitate because I feared it would snap shut at any time. I barely held it and myself together.
I bent down a little, and Meri jumped into my arms. One step into the tunnel…
Three I opened my eyes again, and we were in the road that ran in front of Hangman’s House. We’d done it!
There was just one problem.
Bourgeois, Sara. Book of Dark Magic (Familiar Kitten Mysteries 4). Kindle Locations (1932-1993). Kindle Edition.
What awaits them is a shock and we get many revelations at this point.
I truly didn’t see any of this coming. Including meeting Thorn’s sister and finding out Richard was actually his stepbrother.
I am already reading the next book in this series.
5 Contented Purrs for Sara!
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Sara Bourgeois is a Midwesterner through and through. She spends her time writing, reading, herding cats, and standing in her driveway during tornado warnings. (You can’t see them from the basement.)