Short Take: “Witch Hunt,” Sam Witt

Pros: I’m addicted to Sam Witt’s “Pitchfork County” books; good to learn more about Al
Cons: Al’s ‘inner voice’ never fully gelled for me
Rating: 4 out of 5

Sam Witt’s Witch Hunt: A Pitchfork County Novella is another Pitchfork County novella following on the heels of Night-Blooded Boys. It becomes apparent that a witch hunter has entered the county, and Al–Joe’s son, the one who can turn into a demon and has a pack of dogs he leads–is the one who can best sniff him out. Just to make things more difficult, the Conclave of witches faced a terrible enemy recently, and they’re all still recovering. Al is doing his best to check in on them, all while falling for Rae, one of the witches.

It’s largely up to Al this time, which makes this a great opportunity to get inside his head a bit more. He has to rescue Rae, which is much harder than it sounds. The witch hunter employs remarkably vicious tactics. We get to see some of Rae and Al’s relationship, but we also get to see how Al is learning to handle his dog pack.

There’s some overly coincidental timing here and there, but on the whole I enjoyed the story. It’s a short one, novella-length, but it makes a nice tale before we get into the next longer book. If you like bloody horror (not the type of horror where people get limbs cut off for no reason) and want a decent bit of worldbuilding and plot as well, this makes a good inclusive read.

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