cover image Witch Creek

Witch Creek

Laura Bickle. Harper Voyager, $7.99 mass market (384p) ISBN 978-0-06-256731-4

In Bickle’s introspective fourth novel featuring geologist Petra Dee (after 2016’s Nine of Stars), Petra has recently begun treatment for an aggressive form of leukemia, and she’s desperately missing her new husband, the formerly immortal Gabriel Manget, who’s vanished from the town of Temperance, Wyo. He would never abandon her, so Petra decides to discontinue her chemo and go find him, at any cost. Unbeknownst to her, Gabe has been kidnapped by Owen Rutherford, a cop who wants revenge. Gabe killed Owen’s cousin Sal, who once reigned over the Lunaria, the Tree of Life that gave Gabe his immortality after he was hanged from it and resurrected. Owen has also unleashed on Temperance a ravenous creature called the Mermaid. Petra, accompanied by her human friend Maria, wolf-woman Nine, and coyote Sig, sets off on what may be her very last adventure into the spirit world and beyond. The looming possibility of Petra’s death makes the story harrowing, and longtime fans will appreciate new insight into Gabe’s past as a Pinkerton agent. Bickle’s story is a rich, surreal, alchemical brew, as wondrous as the magic that infuses her fascinating weird west setting. (Feb.)