Thursday, January 1, 2009

Deader Still-Anton Strout

Deader Still
Anton Strout
Ace, Feb 24 2009, $7.99
ISBN: 9780441016914

The psychometric powers that enabled Simon Canderous to be a brilliant thief ended up also putting him in jail. As an ex-con he knew no ordinary employer world hire him, but the Department of Extraordinary Affairs (DEA) operates on a tight budget so hiring a man with his talent would normally be impossible; he has no choice but to accept a crummy civil servant salary (see DEAD TO ME).

It has been over two years since vampires were spotted in the Tri-State area, but when a booze cruise is found floating in the harbor, a check finds everyone on board dead; all drained of blood with marks on their necks. Like all the law enforcement types on the scene, Simon initially assumes vampires killed everyone on board. He changes his mind when he sees in a vision what killed them. His partner Connor tells Simon he believes it is a chupacabra, a canine like creature with red hypnotic eyes and a protruding spinal ridge. Gypsies brought the beasts into the area and are selling one to an enemy of Simon who wants Simon dead. Numerous attempts are made on his life, but he escapes each time even while trying to prevent a supernatural catastrophe from occurring in Central Park.

The antihero has an acerbic wit that helps him cope with the insanity of the bureaucracy he has joined. His significant other Jane has powers that are similar to Simon’s skill of knowing an object’s history by touching it although she is not as controllable as he is; she saves his life before being captured by his foe. DEADER STILL is a refreshing exciting urban fantasy with elements of romance and horror that will appeal to fans of Jim Butcher.

Harriet Klausner

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