cover image Deja New

Deja New

MaryJanice Davidson. Berkley, $15 trade paper (320p) ISBN 978-0-425-27041-7

Davidson intriguingly intermingles past lives and modern-day family drama in the amusing second Insighters paranormal (after Deja Who). Leah Nazir thought things were bad enough when her mother was killed, but now Leah’s pregnant with her reincarnation. Davidson wrings plenty of laughs out of Leah’s peculiar predicament before turning to the task at hand: Leah is a top Insighter, charged with helping others sort out and deal with their past lives. She killed her mother’s murderer in the preceding novel, and now she and her fiancé, Archer Drake, head to Chicago to help Archer’s family solve a similar puzzle: why Archer’s father killed his brother years ago. Or did he? Davidson keeps readers guessing as she spins tales of characters’ former lives and their effects on their present-day incarnations, and charms with an able lineup of supporting characters, particularly Archer’s cousins Angela, a no-nonsense Insighter who butts heads with Leah, and Jack, a talented amateur chef. The constant asides distract, as do multiple choppy chapters, but Davidson’s trademark humor saves the day. Agent: Evan Gregory, Ethan Ellenberg Literary. (Nov.)