cover image Death Warmed Over

Death Warmed Over

Kevin J. Anderson. Kensington, $15 trade paper (304p) ISBN 978-0-7582-7734-3

Anderson (Night of the Living Trekkies) attempts a satire of urban fantasy but never quite finds solid ground, and a bare and predictable plot undercuts the lazy attempts at humor. Since the Big Uneasy, when supernatural creatures of all sorts were unleashed on the world, private eye Dan “Shamble” Chambeaux has made a living helping them. When Chambeaux is murdered, he comes back as a zombie and continues his job, assisted by his crusading lawyer partner, Robin, and his now ghostly cocktail waitress girlfriend, Sheyenne, murdered shortly before Chambeaux was. Chambeaux protects a vampire from human supremacists, investigates the destruction of a local charity, and seeks his own killer and Sheyenne’s. The concept is sound, but Anderson is generally silly without being funny: characters have names like Jekyll and Edgar Allan, and eternally young vampires make fake “kiddie porn.” Potentially interesting points about prejudice and hypocrisy never take root. The utterly banal ending does the book no favors. Agent: John Silbersack, Trident Media Group. (Sept.)