The Vengeful Dead
J. N. Duncan
Kensington, Oct 1 2011, $7.99
In Chicago FBI agent Jackie Rutledge struggles with all that has happened to her in a very short time (see Deadworld). She grieves the death of her BFF Laurel Carpenter whose psychic skills apparently reach from the grave as she haunts Jackie in death almost as much as she haunted Jack when they were live partners. Jack also knows she needs help for her Death Valley depression in which she feels stuck in a personal deadly version of Groundhog Day starring herself and Laurel; but choose to avoid the FBI therapist. She also struggles with her new found paranormal skills that she does not want.
When a murder victim pregnant Rosa wants revenge, the angry spirit chooses bodies to possess in her thirst. One of Jack’s new undesirable talents is to sense ghostly homicides so she knows she must stop Rosa. She ventures back into deadwood to confront The Vengeful Dead Rosa with her team (maybe lover vampiric private investigator Nick Anderson, his vampiric assistant Cynthia and his office manager Shelby the psychic).
The second deadwood urban fantasy police procedural is an enjoyable tale that starts slow as much of the first half focus is a deep look at Jack’s mental state. About a little more than half way into the story line, the pace suddenly accelerates as the plot stops the mental case scenario to concentrate on the investigation; Jack and her paranormal crew try to prevent The Vengeful Dead with a cause that the kick butt heroine empathizes with from enacting her plan.