Title: The Good The Bad and the Undead (The Hollows #2)
Author: Kim Harrison
Publisher: Harper Voyager
Version Read: Hardcover (library)
Publication Date: June 24, 2008
Categories: crime, demons, elves, faeries, fantasy, paranormal, pixies, romance, urban-fantasy, vampires, werecreatures, witches
Summary (Goodreads): It’s a tough life for witch Rachel Morgan, sexy, independent bounty hunter, prowling the darkest shadows of downtown Cincinnati for criminal creatures of the night.
She can handle the leather-clad vamps and even tangle with a cunning demon or two. But a serial killer who feeds on the experts in the most dangerous kind of black magic is definitely pushing the limits.
Confronting an ancient, implacable evil is more than just child’s play – and this time, Rachel will be lucky to escape with her very soul.
Poor Rachel. She’s really getting into all sorts of problems in The Good the Bad and the Undead, and they aren’t going to be easy to get out of, that’s for certain.
In The Good the Bad and the Undead, Rachel is asked by the FIB to help them investigate the deaths of several ley-line witches, in an ‘unofficial’ capacity. This itself causes some major issues because Rachel believes that Trent Kalamack is behind the deaths. Turns out she’s a little bit off the mark, although she was correct about him being interested in them – he wanted one to work for him on a particular project. Rachel’s stubbornness is what causes her to find most the the trouble she gets into. It certainly doesn’t help in this case.
I really like the rules Kim Harrison sets for her vampires in the world of the Hollows. They make sense for vampires living in a modern society where those who aren’t magic know that they exist. The difference between the ‘living’ vampires like Ivy and Kist, and the undead vampires like Ivy’s mum (for example) is also really well done. Most importantly, Harrison sticks to these rules, and doesn’t change them just to suit her needs.
The relationships between Rachel and Ivy, and Ivy and Piscary are interesting. Piscary is pretty much the sort of jerk you would expect a ‘Master’ vampire to be, and he has a wonderfully written sense of almost fatherly affection towards Ivy that hides a much nastier side of him very well. Ivy’s emotional state is really well done – as Rachel points out to herself at one point – Ivy really has been emotionally abused by Piscary from a young age, seeing as he wants her to be his scion and act on his behalf.
Rachel starts to learn more about herself in this one, and she certainly learns quite a bit about her father and about Trent. In fact she learns what he is – and uses that information to keep him from blabbing about her past. The relationship between Rachel and Trent is really well done, especially because although neither one particularly likes the other, they can’t help but require one or the other’s help as various times.
For people who have sank their teeth into some of the better vampire series – either television or book – and like their vampires and supernaturals to have personalities and bite, I would definitely recommend this series.