Edgar-finalist Sakey follows his Brilliance trilogy with a remarkably conceived and passionately realized supernatural thriller featuring two dedicated FBI agents. Will Brody, a former Marine who’s now an FBI special agent, is killed in an operation to save Chicago from a serial sniper and finds himself in the “echo,” the first of a series of nesting postmortem existences. Will’s lover and boss, Claire McCoy, later joins him in the echo after she dies pursuing the sniper. Together Will and Claire, who have become each other’s “calm,” battle Edmund, a centuries-old satanic entity who feeds on the spirits of other people. Flashes of Edmund’s evil machinations recur sporadically throughout this gripping tale, whose underlying message emphasizes the need for both individuals and groups to take responsibility for their actions. Balancing lyric romance and altruistic self-sacrifice with horrifying scenes of cannibalism and wrenching violence, Sakey comes up with a fascinating answer to the eternal question of why humans exist. Agent: Shane Salerno, Story Factory. (July)
This review has been corrected to reflect updated agent information.