Simon & Schuster,Jan 2009, $25.00
At the Battle of Waterloo, twenty something British officer Tyler Hawthorne is severely wounded. While still on the battlefield, Lord Lucien Adrian deVille gives his probably dying brother in arms a ring with stipulations. The ring brings immortality to the bearer but the individual must spend eternity comforting those near death. He also is given a companion to protect him, Shade the cemetery dog.
Almost two centuries later, a Caribbean salvage diver working a vessel sunk in 1815 finds Adrian's remains. Upon returning to the surface Adrian revives and propels his rescuer to help him find Tyler. He succeeds and Adrian travels to Los Angeles to see how his crony is doing. Tyler still tends to his work this time assisting a leukemia patient. However, the still twentyish looking Tyler is in love for the first time in his over two hundred year existence. His cares for heiress Amanda Clarke, who survived a horrific accident that wiped out her family but enabled her to see ghosts; she struggles with survivor guilt, but is attracted to Tyler. Adrian a “messenger” of evil is coming to cause problems for the couple and his dog Shade.
This is a terrific paranormal thriller that grips the audience from the moment that Adrian arrives at Tyler’s side on the battlefield and never slows down once the time and place switch from the Napoleonic Wars through the deep sea rescue to mdoern day America. The story line is fast-paced with the key trio plus the canine seeming genuine even with their supernatural abilities. Jan Burke provides a strong horror tale that fans will appreciate.