Necromancer is such an ugly word, but it's a title Eric Carter is stuck with.
He sees ghosts, talks to the dead. He's turned it into a lucrative career putting troublesome spirits to rest, sometimes taking on even more dangerous things. For a fee, of course.
When he left LA fifteen years ago, he thought he'd never go back. Too many bad memories. Too many people trying to kill him.
But now his sister's been brutally murdered and Carter wants to find out why.
Was it the gangster looking to settle a score? The ghost of a mage he killed the night he left town? Maybe it's the patrion saint of violent death herself, Santa Muerte, who's taken an unusually keen interest in him.
Carter's going to find out who did it, and he's going to make them pay.
Fifteen years after necromancer Eric Carter last saw his younger sister Lucy, he’s devastated to learn that some “thing” tore her apart in her home. Despite their earlier estrangement, Carter drops everything to investigate, but what he uncovers increases his feelings of guilt: the killer left a hidden message that only he could read, making it clear that Lucy was just a convenient route to Carter. Blackmoore (City of the Lost) employs Chandleresque prose (“The Port of Los Angeles sits on the edge of an industrial pit called Wilmington that stinks of diesel, burnt oil, and dead dreams”) to smoothly incorporate a hard-boiled sense of urban despair into a paranormal plot, with occasional leavening provided by smart-aleck humor. Urban fantasy readers will appreciate the polished, assured writing and hope for a bevy of sequels. Agent: Allan Guthrie, Jenny Brown Associates. (Feb.)
It's the L.A. of noir legend, with enough of a twist to keep things fresh.
"For a book all about dead things, this novel is alive with great characters and a twisty, scary-funny story that teaches you not to tango with too much necromancy. My favorite book this year, bar none."
Chris F. Holm
"The funhouse reflection of L.A. Blackmoore conjures is at once vibrant, seedy, and mysterious - streets so mean, they feel as though plucked straight from Chandler's DT nightmares. CITY OF THE LOST effortlessly blends the grit with the fantastical, and paints a world in which magic is to be feared - but not nearly so much as the people behind it."
"The gritty streets of CITY OF THE LOST are filled with snappy dialog, and fascinating characters, as well as a rollercoaster of a plot that doesn't slow down from beginning to end. This is the zombie crime novel we didn't know we were all waiting for."
- Beth H. Green
Carter, who sees spirits and can talk to the dead, makes a "living" by helping wayward ghosts. He works alone, but is being "romanced" by Santa Muerte, who goes by a variety of names, but who is known as the "Goddess of Death." After learning that his sister has been violently murdered, he demonstrates his capability to "visit" a place in time that replays a scene of a crime over and over again, making sure to watch for any clues that might alert him as to who it was that killed her. He makes his way to Los Angeles, the place of his sister's death, after having left fifteen years prior, determined to find her killer, and take his revenge. Reminiscent of "noir-style" writing, Dead Things features the classic detective, searching for the person who "did his family wrong," and who will pay the ultimate price. While older readers might find interest in Dead Things, strong caution should be issued to those who work with teens, especially due to the drug usage, extreme violence, and flagrant, and sometimes gratuitous, strong language. Adults who enjoy the seemingly more increasing stories featuring the paranormal might be best served by Carter and his Dead Things. Reviewer: Beth H. Green
Stephen Blackmoore is a Los Angeles-based writer of crime and horror. His short stories have appeared in the magazines Needle, Plots With Guns, Spinetingler, Thrilling Detective, Shots, and Demolition. He has also written essays on Los Angeles politics and crime for the website LAVoice.org and the LA Noir true crime blog (la-noir.blogspot.com). His work also appears in the noir anthology Uncage Me and in the anthology Deadly Treats.