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Reviewed by Michelle Stanley for Readers' Favorite
“Once you’re on the witch’s list, you’re as good as dead.” Andrew Cairns' novel, The Witch’s List, is a beguiling supernatural novel that follows Sandy Beech through childhood into his adult years. His attraction to exotic black women lures him into the dark world of witchcraft. Peculiar things happen when his girlfriend’s cousin casts a spell and he becomes ill. Sandy ignores the warning of a dying nun and marries Rocky, another woman from the Ivory Coast. They visit her homeland where Sandy learns about the nonconforming culture and witchcraft. He observes how a few people suddenly become ill, and the superstitious reactions of others who believe the sick were on the witch’s list. Sandy meets a strange old woman in the woods who warns him of danger, but the horrific truth remains obscure.
Andrew Cairns writes convincingly and The Witch’s List is a compelling dark story. Its protagonist, Sandy Beech, brings out his conflicting emotions through flowing narration. Although he is a nice person in general, Sandy’s character is weak, especially around women, and he can be manipulated into doing things he knows are wrong. The author’s writing is very detailed. I liked learning about the cultural differences that divide the Ivory Coast, as well as its intriguing black magic that still plays a dominant role in many Ivorian lives. I think the book’s cover is so appealing and appropriate. The Witch’s List by Andrew Cairns is an interesting story.