Sunday, December 23, 2007

Dead to Me-Anton Strout

Dead to Me
Anton Strout
Ace, Mar 2008, $7.99
ISBN: 9780441015788

Simon Canderous spent years misusing his psychometric skills to steal. However, he has reformed and now employs his ability to obtain the history of an object by touching it for the Department of Extraordinary Affairs. What he has not learned is patience as working for a bureaucracy has proven frustrating with SOPs, red tape, and fearful nurturing leaders who are CYA conscience with everything needing documentation a zillion times over.

Simon accidentally spills his coffee through a female ghost who remains ignorant to the fact that she is dead let alone murdered. He vows to bring her killers to justice. However, he will soon learn how complex his pledge is as he is assaulted by the forces of Darkness who are attracted to him and want him to join them but he is not sure in what precisely; and learns more clues from a killer bookcase and a wooden fish. As he gathers information, none of that he obtains seems to get him closer to solving the homicide.

This excellent urban fantasy stars an interesting lead male who readers meet when his tryst with Tamara goes wrong when she pins him to the bed and starts kissing him until his psychometric skills tell him about her New Orleans encounter; she flees from this perverted stalker. Thus the audience immediately learns the down side of the gift, which in turn personalizes and humanizes the hero. The whodunit investigation is fun to follow sort of like an early Dresden so fans should stop at the Lovecraft café for an entertaining paranormal investigative tale.

Harriet Klausner

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