...baddies come first. They are 'marrieds', not newlyweds.
I was so pleased that I got this in time for the bank holiday weekend, and it started off fine, but this is the second Cat and Bones book that I found myself putting down time and time again. Though very readable and a good book, it and its predecessor don't have the same intensity of the first four books in the series, when C&B were still trying to find themselves and learn about each other, and whilst I enjoyed it, it felt simply as if they were on a mission, and that there wasn't quite the time for quality C&B time.
It is a really good tale - C&B learn from a new 'ghost friend' (ghosts and revenants are still clinging to her, due to the remnants of Marie Laveau's 'gift' to Cat in the last book), that a centuries-old ghost, Heinrich Kramer, a witch-hunter (and seemingly, a misogynist) calling himself The Inquisitor, is able to take corporeal form on All Hallows Eve...and that each year at this time, he tortures and then burns to death innocent female victims. The newest ghost, Elizabeth, herself a victim of the witch hunter, has kept herself 'alive' for over 500 years trying to finally kill Kramer when he is in human form, and as she is a friend of Fabian (and the woman he loves but is too shy to make a move on), C&B agree to hunt down Kramer.
The book is all about trying to get Kramer's potential victims to safety before he is able to hurt them, and then to destroy/trap him for once and for all, but he has the power to physically hurt C&C ad their friends, and there is precious little time for C&B to have any personal time. However, they do manage a couple of abortive scenes, and one full-on one whilst flying, but for me, the relationship, passion and romance between C&B is what makes the series, and the lack of all of this in this tale - entirely due to the pace of the tale - lost it some marks for me.
On the plus-side, we get to see Denise & Spade living their HEA, and his revenge on someone who dared to hurt and nearly kill his beloved wife. We get to see Ian, who is as cheeky, arrogant, but as loyal as ever, and Justina who has quit the team and decided to be a 'vegetarian vampire' i.e. not feeding from people (not quite going to plan); we get a glimpse of Tate, but no other team members. We do hear briefly about Mencheres and his girlfriend (i.e. not his wife yet), Kira, but he's apparently too busy to appear in this tale, though his wealth does aid C&B. We find out more about Don, who could have done more to help C&B in this mission...and at the time the book ends, there is a definite breach between him and Cat.
Don's replacement turns out to be a jobsworth type with delusions of grandeur and an as-yet-unknown agenda, who seems to actually hate everyone on the old team, but C&B most of all, and who demotes Tate and then tries to control everything, with disastrous consequences...but the tale ends with many things unanswered in terms of the team/team-no-more and Don. However, as this book is set not long after its precedent, I think that maybe the next will pick up immediately where this one ends up and all will be revealed.
Book 7, the next in the series, is where originally JF had intended the series to end, but there will now be 9 books in total. I think we've been spoiled this year, to actually get 2 whole books only 6 months apart, and a Xmas novella coming in November, but there is no info on the author's website about book 7. No schedule, no tentative title, nothing. BUT, there is good news: in March 2012, we'll see the first of 2 books in the Night Prince series, featuring no other than Vlad as the male lead. Not sure why she has created another side-series, and not issued it under the Night Huntress World series (as Spade's and Mencheres' tales were), but bring it on. The female is apparently a new intro called Leila, and whilst 2 books are contracted for now, there may be more. Yes, please! She does also say that maybe she'll do another full-length novel once she wraps up C&B, so maybe Ian will get his just desserts?
Overall, a really good addition to the series, but it needed a bit more C&B time.