US, Canada, UK)
By Devon Monk (Website, Blog)
Mass Market Paperback: 368 pages
Publisher: Roc (Penguin)
From the Author's Website:
Everything has a cost. And every act of magic exacts a price from its user--maybe a two-day migraine, or losing the memory of your first kiss. But some people want to use magic without paying, and they offload the cost onto an innocent. When that happens, it falls to a Hound to identify the spell's caster--and Allison Beckstrom's the best there is.
Daughter of a prominent Portland businessman, Allie would rather moonlight as a Hound than accept the family fortune--and the many strings that come with it. But when she discovers a little boy dying from a magical offload that has her father's signature all over it, Allie is thrown back into the high-stakes world of corporate espionage and black magic.
Now, Allie's out for the truth--and the forces she finds herself calling on will overturn everything she knows, change her in ways she could never imagine...and make her capable of things that powerful people will do anything to control.
I searched everywhere for an excerpt for this one to no avail. Blurb sounds interesting but does not give much info. I do know that this is an Urban Fantasy set in Portland, Oregon and while modern settings are not my "thing" the premise sounds solid. I do like magic that is balanced with costs and consequences. There are several reviews on this book you might like to check out for a more informative opinion. The Book Smugglers has one, Darque Reviews has another.
I really like the premise for this one. Protecting an innocent child is a strong hook for me. It might even be interesting enough for me to ignore the cover, which I'm not wild about. An incongruity that made me smile: the author's website has a section on knitting! One has a hard time juxtapositioning a tattoo cover with an author who make cute knitted creatures, caps and gloves. I know, I know. Don't assume things. Still, such an incongruity makes me more likely to remember the book . . . and perhaps, to pick it up.
It has a starred Publishers Weekly review! I don't see many of those for debut novels.