The Demon Hunters

ABOUT Linda Welch

Linda Welch
Linda Welch was  born in Hampshire, England. She lived in Idaho, California and New Mexico before settling in Utah. She now lives in a mountain valley, more or less half way up the mountainside, with her husband and Scottish terrier. She is not tall and silver-haired and she does not se More...



Book two of the Whisperings series.

My name is Tiff Banks and I see the violently slain. They whisper to me, and they never, ever, forget the face of their killer.

This latest case could well drive me crazy. Our Dark Cousin clients are looking for a Latino gangsta, but they're not exactly informative, and I know they're not telling me everything. Neither is my partner, ex-detective Royal Mortensen. What are Dark Cousins? Royal knows, but won't, or can't, tell me.

A nineteenth-century journal turns up in my mailbox. Who sent it to me, and why?

When the case turns ugly, so does my relationship with the one man I've come to trust. I need answers, so it's back to what I do best: pound the pavement and talk to dead people.

Can my spectral informers help me this time?

You bet.

If you read Along Came a Demon and you wonder how Tiff came by her uncanny ability, why did Royal transfer to Clarion PD, and can Jack tell a "dead" joke that is actually funny? - you'll find answers in The Demon Hunters.

MY HUSBAND MADE ME DO IT! Okay, so he didn't make me write the first novel of the Whisperings series, in fact quite the opposite, but he was the catalyst. If not for my husband, the Whispering series might never have been written. Each of my books began with the idea for a character, with little or no notion of a plot. I agree with authors who say their protagonists take control of the plot. Once that character was firmly established in my mind as a real person, plot ideas and a cast of supporting character just popped into my head, usually at inconvenient times, such as when I was just about to fall asleep or was miles away from my computer. As most of my protagonists tend toward contrariness, they would choose awkward times to let me in on their stories. The idea for a character who saw and interacted with the dead as actual people, not amorphous shapes or the knock-once-for-yes, knock-twice-for-no variety, floated around in my head six or seven years ago. I knew my heroine would need a way in which to differentiate between the living and dead, so she would hear their voices as whispers. And because I didn't want the poor woman to be surrounded with dead people eternally pestering her, I decided she would see only those who died violently. And that is where that idea remained, in my head, until early 2009. I had written two science fiction novels that my husband was most reluctant to read them. He does not read science fiction, so I imagine he did not want to wade through mine and have to tell his own wife he did not care for her book. You can imagine, perhaps, how that chaffed my ego. But he was reading novels with paranormal themes. So, I thought, right, I'm going to write one you can't ignore! Tiff Banks and her world came to life. Putting a little more thought into that old concept, I decided my heroine had to stand out in the crowd, so she became a tall, pale skinned woman with silver-white hair which, incidentally, makes her a startling contrast to the darker-skinned, metallic-haired demons (Gelpha) with whom she interacts. I still did not know everything about Tiff Banks when I wrote Along Came a Demon. How did she come by her abilities? Why is she rather uptight, and definitely distrustful of other people? Will her slightly mysterious past be explored? As the series developed, some of those questions were answered in The Demon Hunters and the soon to be published Dead Demon Walking. Having more or less decided on the central protagonist, I needed a location and, took the easy route. I'm familiar with all the locations in Whisperings, and in particular Tiffs hometown city of "Clarion," although I did transport this Utah city up into the mountain valley in which I now live. The setting had an influence on the Tiff Banks character, because when you live high in the mountains you do not wear skin-tight leather outfits, micro skirts or stiletto heels, therefore neither does Tiff Banks. She dresses for the climate. She is not chick-lit. As for the supporting cast, I knew I wanted a supernatural people who could be both enemies and friends, and there were the Gelpha, just waiting to be discovered. Tiff is one of a small number of people who perceives their true appearance; their metallic hair, gleaming eyes and pointed teeth. Ghosts would not only play a part in solving criminal cases, they would be Tiffs friends and confidantes, and there were Jack and Mel. For a glimpse into Tiff's world, I encourage readers to take a look at my fReado page and the BookBuzzr widget, a most marvelous marketing tool for writers. More insights can be found on my web site: Along Came a Demon was also, for me, an experiment in writing. I used a casual style of writing, the idea being that Tiff is speaking directly to the reader, using her her own words, phrases and pace. Sometimes she cracks jokes or teases the reader. As my education in writing was of the formal type which stands me in good stead in office work but not when writing a novel I was constantly telling myself, "No, you can't write it that way!" then changing it, then changing it again, then blocking out what my brain told me and giving in to gut feeling. As I am a Brit living in the USA, I also have to pay attention to the difference between American English and British English. One British reader was quite shocked when I described a dress that, "just about covered her fanny," as that word has different meanings in the USA and UK. On the other hand, when I gave a copy of my little children's fantasy, Beneath the Oak, to my British nephew, I had to explain it would be better if he read the story to his five year-old son rather than use it to teach the lad to read, because the spelling is American. And, yes, my husband did read Along Came a demon (when I dropped it in front of him and said, "here, read, or else!") and he liked it. He also liked the sequel, The Demon Hunters. Yay, I had a winner!

By LK Gardner-Griffie on August 21, 2009

We first met Tiff Banks in review 70 of Along Came a Demon. During the course of the first book, Tiff Banks is established as a person with the ability to talk with ghosts, who are referred to as shades. Tiff used her gift to assist the Clarion Police Department with murder investigations. That career came to an abrupt halt when she accused one of Clarion PD’s golden boys, Royal Mortenson, of being a murderer based on the say so of the ghost of a little boy. The actual murderer was Royal’s brother, who looks so much like him Tiff had difficulty in telling them apart, so she couldn’t blame the shade of a little boy for getting it wrong. The police department was a little less forgiving. And Tiff didn’t even tell the police department that Royal is a demon. Okay, so that is what Tiff has been calling those beings which have metallic looking hair, glittering eyes, and pointy teeth. Although, Royal has had his teeth capped.

Since Royal is now Tiff’s lover and partner in the detective agency they have opened, Tiff learned Royal is actually a Gelpha. But she continues to think of him and others of his kind as demons.

The Demon Hunters opens with a comic scene in which Tiff convinces Royal to go after a kidnapped cat for the reward money, because she was feeling the pinch of being out of a semi-regular consulting fee. After speaking with a rather nasty ghost called Freddy, they got a lead on where the catnappers were located. Tiff then uses her bad-tempered Scottie, MacKlutzy to bring the catnapper out of the apartment while Royal, who has the ability to move at lightning speed, rushed in and out with the cat. Having little dogs of my own, I identified with the description of MacKlutzy squaring off with the catnapper.

"If there’s one thing Mac hates worse than cats, it’s being th
reatened. He recognized that tone of voice. Terriers are fearless. They literally do not perceive any distinction in size or bulk. Something stood between him and a cat and that something threatened him. Mac attacked."

Following this fun, lighthearted case, Royal calls Tiff to come meet some new clients, Gia Sabato and Daven Clare. Gia Sabato just happens to be an enormously successful author who sprang out of nowhere eighteen months prior to the start of the story. Tiff is surprised when the case ends up being about the abduction of a Clarion Latino former gangsta, who is the lover of Gia Sabato. Tiff doesn’t really like her new clients and suspects them of being Gelpha in disguise. On top of that Royal is acting very strange and keeping secrets from her. Add to the intrigue, the mysterious arrival of a nineteenth century journal kept by a fifteen year old British girl on the travels to Burma, and you have a case getting more bizarre by the moment.

When Gia and Daven unexpectedly arrive at Tiff’s house and waltz right in, Jack and Mel, Tiff’s resident ghosts, go ballistic and try to attack them and force them to leave. And even stranger, MacKlutzy, who never met an ankle he didn’t want to bite, runs away from them as quickly as he can and acts scared out of his wits. Even though she is the one who hired Royal and Tiff to find Rio, Gia Sabato doesn’t want Tiff to have too much information about the disappearance. Frustrated by being kept in the dark by her clients, and fearful her relationship with Royal could be on the way out, Tiff just wants this case to be over. Once Tiff finally gets them to let her in on what is really going on, she finds out someone is seeking out and killing demons and their Dark Cousins. No one will tell Tiff exactly what a Dark Cousin is, but she quickly figures out that they really don’t get along with Gelpha and that it is taboo to even mention what a dark cousin is. Join Tiff and Royal on their hair-raising adventure to find The Demon Hunters

first read The Demon Hunters toward the beginning of the year, put together a draft of the review and scheduled it. Linda Welch contacted me and requested we postpone the review as she was making some changes to the manuscript. I was very interested in seeing what those changes might entail. Being a confirmed tweaker of my own novels, I completely understood the request and tried to wait patiently for the changes to be completed.

The bulk of the changes to the actual content of the book are additional scenes which definitely add to the overall story. There is an added scene which takes the reader back to the first time Tiff ever saw a ghost. This was good back story information, and something I had been wondering about. Since Tiff didn’t see ghosts until she was an adult, the shock of it had to have an impact.

Welch also takes the time to tie up a loose end or two from the first novel in the series, as well as building some additional animosity between Tiff and her client, Gia Sabato. All in all, the revisions were definitely worthwhile, and worth the wait for the now completed product.

Linda Welch
pens her characters with authority, and you are instantly taken into the world of Tiff Banks and her demon lover, Royal. Her story contains action from start to finish. You feel like you know Tiff from the instant you pick up the book and want to stay with her as she jets all over this world and through otherworlds in search of answers. I’ll be anxiously waiting for the next installment in the Whisperings series.

Along Came a Demon and The Demon Hunters have also been released in a book which contains both stories called Whisperings, so if you haven’t picked up Along Came a Demon, get them both in one package. Whisperings is $10.63 for the paperback and $3.75 for the download, so getting both at once saves you a little pocket book pain.

Reviewed for the LL Book Review.

A capturing puzzle, can't wait for more!
12 Apr 2009
by Valerie J. Long

Tiff Banks sees the violently slain. Together with her demon partner Royal she utilizes her unique talent to retrieve a kidnapped, overweight cat just to contribute her share to the partnership in their detective agency.

But this is only an introduction, making readers familiar again with the protagonists of Linda Welch's first Whisperings Novel, Along Came a Demon.

Tiff and her partner are hired by a couple of very - well, persuasive - otherworldy Dark Cousins to find their companion. Tiff is sent the diary of a young British girl killed in Burma (today called Myanmar) over a hundred years ago. Tiff feels as if she can't let go of reading that story - just like I myself couldn't put down Linda's book.

The plot subtly gains speed and tension as Tiff puts pieces of the puzzle together: someone has taken to systematically murdering otherworldy people, and their clients might be on his list, too. And what has a long dead British girl got to do with it?

By its air of suspense and complexity I was totally drawn into the story - in the end, there's only one disappointment: Linda hasn't finished her third Whisperings novel yet!