cover image The Messenger

The Messenger

Jan Burke, Author . Simon & Schuster $25 (305p) ISBN 978-0-743

In this outstanding supernatural thriller from bestseller Burke (Kidnapped ), her first venture into paranormal territory, Tyler Hawthorne, a British officer wounded at Waterloo, receives a memento mori ring on the battlefield from “Messenger” Lucien Adrian deVille, Lord Varre. The ring grants the wearer immortality, but in exchange Tyler must forever comfort the dying. Tyler also gets Shade, a black cemetery dog, for protection. In the present, a salvage diver uncovers Adrian's remains in a ship sunk in the Caribbean in 1815. A resurrected Adrian uses the diver to help locate Tyler in Los Angeles, where Tyler is attending to a leukemia patient. Tyler, an ageless 24, has also fallen for wealthy Amanda Clarke, who's haunted by family members killed in an accident that she survived. Mutual attraction and a dedication to do good unite the pair against the evil Adrian. Shade lends a distinctive Dean Koontzian flavor to the action, while Charlaine Harris fans will appreciate Amanda's ghostly abilities. (Jan.)