Necroscope: Harry and the Pirates
Tor, Jul 2009, $23.95
“For the Dead Travel Slowly”. In 1981 the Necroscope Harry Keough is back in his hometown of Harden staying with his longtime friend Jimmy Collins while he seeks clues to his missing beloved Brenda and their son. He senses something is not right in nearby Hazeldene and soon learns of the murder fifteen years ago of Janet Symonds, daughter of the Police Sergeant who committed suicide soon afterward. The prime suspect was and is Greg Miller, of whom Constable Jack Forester loathes and watches seeking proof. Harry follows up on research Greg did and believes something in the woods killed the teen, but proving it and ending its terror reign that the Necroscope traces back to Ancient Roman times seem impossible.
“Harry and the Pirates”. Harry is still in the Harden area searching for his wife and son, but currently is eight miles away in Hartlepool. He talks deadspeak with an unrepentant deceased Viking Erik “Scarhelm” Haroldson, but cuts the raider off when he cannot abide the man’s boasting leaving him in his watery grave with his crew. Another dead pirate Billy Bowen, buried in a nearby cemetery, deadspeaks with Harry and tells him of the voyage o the Sea Witch that ultimately led to his death. Harry suffers a horrific migraine so using the Mobius route he leaves promising to come back to learn more of the golden “cloth” they rescued from the sea. Harry returns, but increasingly finds it difficult to focus and even worse leave.
These two super novellas (and a tiny coda) make for a great Lost Years thriller. Harry is at his best trying to understand what to do with new species (one in each entry) that he never faced before in spite of his supernatural wanderings as the Necroscope. Fans of the sage will relish both tales while newcomers will get a taste that will send in search of the Harry saga (a title listing included).