cover image Witch in the White City

Witch in the White City

Nick Wisseman. Nick Wisseman, $7.99 trade paper (296p) ASIN B08SB8ZLPC

Neva Freeman, a dancer with a magical ability to reshape her bones at will, races to find a killer plaguing Chicago’s 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition in this thrilling historical fantasy from Wisseman (the Red Wraith series). Wisseman immediately strikes a balance between electric pacing and precise descriptions as a swarm of insects with sickle-shaped markings attacks Neva during a performance in the Algerian Theatre. She breaks out in a rash of identical markings, and Wiley, a handsome member of the Columbian guards, informs her that several dead bodies have been found with the same rash. Then Neva’s brother, Augie, disappears after he’s targeted by the next insect swarm. Historical details provide a vivid image of the fair and capture painful period racism as Neva’s search for Augie leads her into dangerous encounters with anarchists, a club that reveres serial killers, and the killer himself. Along the way, she discovers frightening evidence that the insects’ venom drives its victims mad and uncovers a magical link between the victims. Riveting action and startling plot twists throughout snowball into a shocking yet satisfying conclusion. The result is a wild ride sure to please lovers of supernatural historical mysteries. (Self-published)