Schultz draws heavily on tropes from the mystery field, particularly noir and caper fiction, as she sends her flawed, but sympathetic characters into what appears to be a no-win situation. The parallels between crime fiction and urban fantasy have always been obvious and Schultz combines the two with skill to create a novel works both as a stand-alone and as the introduction to an ongoing series.
Career criminal Karyn Ames is driven by her need to make enough money to buy Blind, the drug that controls the precognition that makes her such a talented planner; without Blind, visions of the future crowd in, a swirl of bewildering chaos. Until now, the jobs she and her crew have taken, absconding with comparatively minor magical artifacts, have kept them living hand-to-mouth. The assignment crime lord Enoch Sobell offers them will pay enough to leave the crew financially secure for life. Greed and desperation leave Ames and her friends trapped between the extremely scary Sobell, a violent cult not predisposed to forgiveness and a demon whose power to corrupt even Sobell cannot predict. Ames and company may be financially secure for life — but how long will that life be? (ROC, Jul., 352 pp., $7.99)