cover image Dead Things

Dead Things

Stephen Blackmoore. DAW, $7.99 mass market (304p) ISBN 978-0-7564-0774-2

Fifteen years after necromancer Eric Carter last saw his younger sister Lucy, he’s devastated to learn that some “thing” tore her apart in her home. Despite their earlier estrangement, Carter drops everything to investigate, but what he uncovers increases his feelings of guilt: the killer left a hidden message that only he could read, making it clear that Lucy was just a convenient route to Carter. Blackmoore (City of the Lost) employs Chandleresque prose (“The Port of Los Angeles sits on the edge of an industrial pit called Wilmington that stinks of diesel, burnt oil, and dead dreams”) to smoothly incorporate a hard-boiled sense of urban despair into a paranormal plot, with occasional leavening provided by smart-aleck humor. Urban fantasy readers will appreciate the polished, assured writing and hope for a bevy of sequels. Agent: Allan Guthrie, Jenny Brown Associates. (Feb.)