In some near future, alternate version of Atlanta where magic waves come and go, making technology very unstable, Kate Daniels is a some time mercenary, but she prefers to think of herself as a loner. When her Guardian is killed under mysterious circumstances, the last semblance of family she had is gone, and Kate is determined to figure out who is behind his murder.
Planning on solving the murder mainly by stirring up enough trouble that whomever is responsible feels threatened enough to try to kill her, Kate sets out to question all the powerful factions in Atlanta, starting with the powerful Pack of shape-shifters and the arrogant Beast Lord who controls them with an iron fist. It turns out both the Pack and the organization of necromancers who control vampires have lost significant numbers, and want to get to the bottom of the case too.
This is the first in the Kate Daniels
series, and I decided to re-read it as there are far too many details that I'd forgotten, having not read it since 2009. The couple who make up the writing duo that is[a:Ilona Andrews|21748|Ilona Andrews|http://d.gr-assets.com/authors/1219436898p2/21748.jpg] have both come out and said that this is their least favourite of all their books, because it was their first published work, and they frequently recommend that new readers skip straight to [b:Magic Burns|1811543|Magic Burns (Kate Daniels, #2)|Ilona Andrews|http://d.gr-assets.com/books/1311280284s/1811543.jpg|1810889], the second book in the series.
While I agree with them that this is the weakest book in the series, it establishes a lot of the important characters in the books, and is a quick read. Kate is a bit more dislikable, mean and stand-offish in this one than in later books, and takes far too long to figure out a mystery that's really not that complicated. Still, it's a great introduction to the wonderful world building in the series, and recurring characters like Curran, Derek, Jim, Saiman and Ghastek. So if you haven't read any of these books before - trust me when I say that even if you're not blown away by this one, keep going for at least one more. If you're not completely hooked afterwards, that's fine.