"I'm dead, for starters -- it happens. But I'm still ambulatory, and I can still think, still be a contributing member of society (such as it is, these days). And still solve crimes."
~ from Kevin J. Anderson's Death Warmed Over
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Tortured Souls: The Legend of Primordium by Clive BarkerAfter assassin Zarles Krieger completes a routine assignment, he must face his victim's daughter, Lucidique, in the corrupt, backbiting, festering city of Primordium. The ancient creature Agonistes dwells there, turning supplicants into avatars of violence and rage. After meeting and being transformed by Agonistes, Zarles and Lucidique have a romantic liaison, while the abominable residents and monstrous processes of the city swirl around them. "All are damned in this solid, sordid read," says Publishers Weekly.
The Last American Vampire by Seth Grahame-SmithHenry Sturges, introduced in Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, is a vampire looking for a motivational boost after his friend Lincoln's devastating murder. Traveling through England, Europe, and America, Henry resembles an undead Forrest Gump, observing a surprising number and variety of historic events: meeting Jack the Ripper and witnessing the Hindenburg conflagration, both World Wars, and more. A twisting, gory plot, complete with conspiracies and supernatural battles, will please "fans of bloody mayhem and historical mash-ups" (Booklist).
Symbiont by Mira GrantSal Mitchell is a tapeworm. To be more exact, Sal's body is a tapeworm's host, and the sentient tapeworm is more human (and humane) than the average parasite. In this sequel to Parasite, Sal and her friends are on a mission to defeat the evil, anti-human tapeworms and save the world from the parasitic apocalypse they're planning. Frantic action fuels this atypical zombie tale, which has a strong science fiction component. Symbiont's cliffhanger ending will leave fans breathless for the conclusion to author Mira Grant's Parasitology trilogy.
The Damned by Andrew PyperTwenty years after his death and resuscitation following a fire, Danny Orchard is still haunted by his twin, Ashleigh, who wasn't revived. Before her death, Ash was a psychopath, and her ghost is even more malicious. Now that Danny is engaged to be married, Ash (who has sabotaged all of Danny's relationships) threatens mayhem. Canadian author Andrew Pyper enhances this Detroit-set tale with a vivid sense of place and realistic character development. Kirkus Reviews calls The Damned a "treat for fans of intelligent treatments of the supernatural."
A Love Like Blood by Marcus SedgwickShortly after the 1944 liberation of Paris, British medical corpsman Charles Jackson witnesses a repellent scene: a man drinking the blood of a dead woman. Charles flees, but remains haunted by what he saw. Years later, he returns to Paris and again encounters the blood-drinker, who disappears. Now Charles begins to crisscross Europe, feeling compelled to track him down. His quest recalls the desperate search for Vlad the Impaler in Elizabeth Kostova's The Historian. This chilling, classically inspired tale of blood will keep horror fans turning the pages.
Death Warmed Over: Dan Shamble, Zombie P.I. by Kevin J. AndersonDetective Dan Chambeaux breaks new ground in the P.I. business. He's dead, you see, a zombie, and part of his caseload involves finding out who killed him and his ghost-girlfriend, Sheyenne. Along with Sheyenne and his living human partner, Dan also helps emancipate a revived mummy from his museum case and finds evidence related to a lawsuit over a typo that turned a spell into a curse. The shape shifters, witches, and zombies in Death Warmed Over are more amusing than scary, but horror aficionados will be glad to know this is just the 1st in the Shamble & Die Investigations series. For another undead sleuth, try Mario Acevedo's Felix Gomez vampire series, starting with The Nymphos of Rocky Flats.
The Burn Palace by Stephen DobynsIn quiet Brewster, Rhode Island, state trooper Woody Potter investigates a gruesome crime: someone has stolen a baby from the hospital and replaced it with a large snake. Later, additional bizarre events occur, and villagers report seeing strange rituals in the woods. The supposedly idyllic town has become so chaotic that Potter and the local police can barely cope. Their sleuthing gets nowhere until a ten-year-old boy with a special ability provides new information. The Burn Palace ratchets up the fear factor with black humor as Potter discovers the shocking reason for the disturbances.
Moon by Jewell Parker RhodesDr. Marie Levant, great-great granddaughter of New Orleans voodoo queen Marie Laveau, works in the ER of Charity Hospital. When three corpses drained of blood show up, Marie sets out to find their killer. Meanwhile, her dreams warn her of an ancient African vampire that is out to kill her, too. In this terrifying 2nd entry in author Jewell Parker Rhodes' Voodoo Trilogy, which begins with Voodoo Season, Marie's detective work stays just a step ahead of the monster. Moon (also published with the title Yellow Moon) is a "spooky, sexy novel about things that go bump in the night," says Kirkus Reviews.
Nocturnal: A Novel by Scott SiglerA strange series of killings haunts San Francisco police detective Bryan Clauser, who is perturbed when he realizes he's dreaming about murders before they occur. Meanwhile, 13-year-old Rex Deprovdechuk is tormented by bullies, and homeless Aggie James is kidnapped and locked up underground. As the murder spree continues, Clauser finds evidence that it is not the work of an ordinary serial killer. Clauser, Rex, and Aggie ally themselves against this evil force, but considerable amounts of blood will flow before the horror ends.
Niceville by Carsten StroudThe residents of picturesque Niceville are actually rather nasty, as Detective Nick Kavanaugh learns when several racially motivated crimes occur, and ten-year-old Rainey Teague disappears only to be found alive, locked in a crypt. All of these events have a hint of the paranormal, but even more disturbing is the generations-old family feud connected to the tomb where Rainey was magically immured. This "absolutely riveting novel" (Library Journal) combines police procedural with a ghost story that offers both standard thrills and horrific chills.
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