The Imaginary Realms of
Gilbert M. Stack


Supernatural Bounty Hunter

Supernatural Bounty Hunter

Smoke Rising by Craig Halloran (Supernatural Bounty Hunter 1)

John Smoke is an ex-special-forces-soldier turned bounty hunter turned ex-con who has a reputation for being hard to control but extremely capable in tracking down difficult to find targets. Sydney Shaw is a by-the-book FBI agent who is smart, driven, and competent. Together they get roped into trying to track down a suspect on the FBI’s mysterious black slate list. No one seems to know quite where the black slate came from and why people are on it—but Smoke and Shaw are about to find out why no one listed on the slate ever gets brought in for arrest.

This is a great urban fantasy series with a really enjoyable (non-romantic so far) chemistry between Smoke and Shaw as they are forced to come to grips with the idea that supernatural creatures do exist and that they are not only running criminal enterprises in the U.S. but manipulating its politics. That discovery was very well handled, as is the skepticism of the rest of the law enforcement community. There is a ton of action in addition to the basic mystery of what the heck is the bad guy.

I can’t wait to read the next book in this series.

I received this book free from Free Audiobook in exchange for an honest review.

I Smell Smoke by Craig Halloran (Supernatural Bounty Hunter 2)

One of the things that makes an urban fantasy series stand out for me is when the author chooses to get away from the classic monsters (vampires and werewolves) and spotlight a creature we don’t see so often. That’s what we get in I Smell Smoke when Sidney Shaw and John Smoke tackle the second name on their Black Slate list and find a monster I certainly wasn’t expecting. It makes for a great adventure.

Then there are all the other things that make this series so much fun. Sidney’s FBI boss continues to be as irritating as ever (and we find out why he dislikes Sidney so much). Her family reappears to add their own measure of tension and frustration to Sidney. The Drake corporation grows more threatening. And finally, there’s the nonstop banter between Sidney and Smoke as she continues to be attracted to him even as he irritates the heck out of her.

This book is just as much fun as the first novel in the series and raises my expectations for book 3.

Where There’s Smoke by Craig Halloran (Supernatural Bounty Hunter 3)

Halloran comes up with yet another monster rarely seen in urban fantasy novels to make this one of the most exciting books in the series yet. Sidney Shaw is becoming obsessed with the Black Slate files even as her superior (and ex-boyfriend) in the FBI is isolating and ridiculing her for her successes because he thinks being the first person to successfully complete Black Slate missions will damage her career because it involves the supernatural.

Sidney moves forward with her new case anyway and quickly discovers that there are personal prices to be paid for confronting these bad guys. Her sister and niece are kidnapped by her latest quarry and this leads to a long and involved end game scenario against a very cool monster. As if this wasn’t enough, there’s also a big surprise at the end. This one is good all around.

Smoke on the Water by Craig Halloran (Supernatural Bounty Hunter 4)

Smoke and Sydney are back to tackle two supernatural assassins who appear to be immortal. That would be bad enough, but Sydney quit the FBI in the last book and doesn’t have even the minimal support the FBI used to give her. Her ex-fiancé has taken over her role on the Black Slate with his current girlfriend and they are not happy that Sydney is also investigating the case—and making more progress than they are. That means that the work is twice as hard as the only progress that’s going to get made is by working around their FBI counterparts.

The action is fast paced, the dialogue is fun, and the bad guys are still bad. On top of that, Halloran gives us yet another unusual supernatural problem to resolve. There’s also some genuine tragedy in this book which reminds us that the danger is real and the stakes are huge.

Smoke and Mirrors by Craig Halloran (Supernatural Bounty Hunter 5)

Lots of different monsters fill the pages of the fifth book in the Supernatural Bounty Hunter series, as did several surprises—not the least of which is that the Drake Corporation would like to recruit Sydney to work for them. This twist, corrupting their most dangerous adversaries, was a good one as we have run into corrupted agents before and this helped to explain how that happened. There are also growing troubles at the FBI as what looks to me to be more Drake Corporation influence affecting the agency that is supposed to be bringing them down. Overall, this is probably the best book since the first one because of the surprises and the wider variety of threats. I’m looking forward to seeing what Smoke and Sydney do next.