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We Are Not Good People

We Are Not Good People

From the “exhilarating, powerful, and entertaining” (Guardian) storyteller of the Avery Cates series comes a gritty supernatural thriller featuring a pair of unlikely heroes caught up in the underground world of blood magic.

The ethics in a world of blood are gray—and an underground strata of blood magicians has been engineering disasters for centuries in order to acquire enough fuel for their spells. They are not good people.

Some practitioners, however, use the Words and a swipe of the blade to cast simpler spells, such as Charms and Cantrips to gas up $1 bills so they appear to be $20s. Lem Vonnegan and his sidekick Mags fall into this level of mage, hustlers and con men all. Lem tries to be ethical by using only his own blood, by not using Bleeders or “volunteers.” But it makes life hard. Soon they might have to get honest work.

When the pair encounters a girl who’s been kidnapped and marked up with magic runes for a ritual spell, it’s clear they’re in over their heads. Turning to Lem’s estranged master for help, they are told that not only is the girl’s life all but forfeit, but that the world’s preeminent mage, Mika Renar, has earth-shattering plans for her—and Lem just got in the way. With the fate of the world on the line, and Lem both spooked and intrigued by the mysterious girl, the other nominates him to become the huckleberry who’ll take down Renar. But even if he, Mags, and the simpletons who follow him prevail, they’re dealing with the kind of power that doesn’t understand defeat, or mercy.

Book One in the Ustari Cycle, the first portion of We Are Not Good People was originally published in an altered form as Trickster (Pocket Books).
Choose a format:
  • Gallery Books | 
  • 528 pages | 
  • ISBN 9781451696790 | 
  • October 2014
Pre Order
List Price $16.99
Ships on or around October 7, 2014

Read an Excerpt

We Are Not Good People
1. “THERE’S A GIRL IN THE tub,” Mags said.

I looked up at him. His hair was getting long. It was glossy and silky, a grand black forest of hair. His eyebrows almost met in the middle, giving him a permanently sinister expression. I could not actually pronounce his actual last name, called him Pitr Mags because it was better than calling him Pitr the Indian Bastard.

“A fifty-year-old dead girl?” I asked, thinking bones and webs, a fine bed of off-white dust lining the tub... see more

Articles About This Book


Posted on Off the Shelf

Posted by Jeff Somers

Jeff Somers sold his first novel at age 16. His story "Ringing the Changes" was selected for Best American Mystery Stories 2006, and his story “Sift, Almost Invisible, Through” appeared in the anthology Crimes by Moonlight. He's written...

About the Author

Jeff Somers
Credit: Jeff Somers

Jeff Somers

Jeff Somers was born in Jersey City, New Jersey. After graduating college he wandered aimlessly for a while, but the peculiar siren call of New Jersey brought him back to his homeland. Visit him at and, and on Twitter at @JeffreySomers.




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