Night of the Loving Dead
Berkley, Jan 2009, $6.99
Cemetery tour guide Pepper Martin was in the Garden View Cemetery when she knocked her head accidentally on a tombstone. When she regained consciousnesses, she was able to see ghosts; spirits of those who were murdered and unable to move on. They demand Pepper find their killers and bring them to justice so they can pass peacefully to the next level. She reluctantly investigates the claims because when she refuses they haunt her every living moment.
When Pepper goes to Chicago on business, she stops at the Greenland Cemetery where she meets the spirit of lab coated Madeline Tremayne, who pleads with her that their mutual friend Dr. Dan Callahan is in danger from his boss Dr. Hilton Gerard who is using him as the fall guy for the Feds to devour for their inquiry into misappropriation of funds. Knowing Dan once saved her life and how painfully persistent ghosts are, Pepper investigates learning that Dr. Dan is working on a new program in which the disenfranchised enter but never leave. As she obtains proof of the goings-on, a malevolent spirit turns Pepper into one of the disenbidied unable to help anyone even herself.
Anyone who believes communicating with ghosts would be fun, need to ask the heroine whose experience with the “gift” leaves her traumatic and seemingly always in danger; this is not sharing tea or lattes. Still her courage and desire, albeit reluctant, to help others endears Pepper to the reader. Her latest investigation is fast-paced, dangerous and somewhat personal; as NIGHT OF THE LOVING DEAD is a charming amusing paranormal amateur sleuth.