cover image Headstone City

Headstone City

Tom Piccirilli, . . Bantam Spectra, $5.99 (302pp) ISBN 978-0-553-58721-0

Alternately funny, sad and thrilling, Piccirilli's stellar supernatural crime novel plays haunting riffs on old mob standards. The wise guys of Brooklyn welcome back cab driver Johnny "Dane" Danetello, fresh from two years in the slammer, with a contract on his life and a handful of restless ghosts. Burdened with the ability to see the dead, Dane spends time between fares chatting up spirits and spooks, trying to make sense of his precarious life on the outside. If his old pal (and partner in metaphysical enhancement) Vincent Monticelli wants Dane dead, why hasn't he been taken out? What does the gorgeous movie actress Glory Bishop want from him? Who's the federal lawman looking into the Monticelli family? These questions lead Dane to face his own haunted past, including a murdered father, a mother who lived and died in agony, and the beautiful young Angie Monticelli, who caught a ride to her death in Dane's cab two years earlier. Stoker-winner Piccirilli (A Choir of Ill Children ) plays cleverly with his hero's paranormal ability, keeping the reader guessing—and jumping—by blurring distinctions between the living and the dead. (Feb.)