Title: The Witch’s List
Author: Andrew Cairns
Sandy Beech doesn’t believe in witches and the supernatural. However, certain strange events occur which put his scepticism to the test: a burning book, a falling crucifix, a mysterious illness, and a fire in a convent which kills all twelve nuns. On her deathbed, Bernadette, the last surviving nun, warns him to control his lusts and avoid African women. Sandy finds this difficult, since he is attracted to exotic, dark-skinned women and after his hedonistic university exchange year in Paris, marries Rocky from the Ivory Coast. Five years later, childless and with the marriage souring, they decide to visit Rocky’s home country. Sandy is drawn into a world of strange beliefs and practices: he finds out about the Witch’s List – a list of people destined to die, and is attacked by various animals starting with a ferocious dog in Abidjan. He delves further and further into the realm of African witchcraft, but the horrific truth remains obscure… The Witch’s List is the first of a trilogy.
The Witch’s List is a combination of a supernatural story and a coming of age tale. The story focuses around the main character named Sandy Beech and we see his shenanigans and life as he graduates high school and moves onto his life. Sandy isn’t like his Scottish ancestors who have a thing for pale skin, blue eye girls. He likes African girls from the Ivory coast. After his first girlfriend, Gabriella, Sandy gets his first taste of witchcraft and what being on the wrong end of it can feel like. But that doesn’t stop him on his quest. In fact, it might just become his biggest aide yet.
This was a different type of book than I was expecting. I thought it would air more on the paranormal side but it read sort of like a memoir. I’m not saying it was bad or anything, just a lot different than what the summary led me to believe it would be about. The ending of the story was actually quite sudden which caught me off guard because I was under the impression that this was a standalone book and the ending is a definite cliffhanger. After reading the synopsis, however, I’m happy to see that there will be more books and more answers in the future.