cover image Lost Things

Lost Things

Melissa Scott and Jo Graham. Crossroad (www.crossroadpress.com), $14.99 trade pa

In interwar America, a relic from an Italian archeological dig near Lake Nemi unleashes a long-forgotten evil on the world, a demonic figure who can hop from body to body as casually as a person changes clothes. As the demon searches for a host who can offer it the delights of power provided by its previous host, the notorious Emperor Caligula, three Americans—pilot Lewis Segura; his lover and employer, Alma Gilchrist; and their scholarly friend, Jerry Ballard—accept the impossible task of trapping an entity no physical weapon can harm, a shadow that mortal powers cannot bind, a monster who is well aware it is pursued and who has every intention of turning the hunt against the hunters. Scott (Point of Knives) and Graham (Black Ships) avoid the pitfalls of conventional occult adventure thanks to their clean, well-crafted prose and their embrace of unconventional characters in unorthodox relationships. What could have been a mundane collect-the-plot-tokens supernatural thriller becomes a pleasantly intriguing story in their talented hands. (Aug.)