Revenant (Paskagankee #2)
My rating: Supernatural Thriller
by Allan Leverone
Source: Publisher (direct)
Revenant centres around a stone imbued with Navajo magic, which has the power to bring someone back from the dead. That someone is alcoholic Earl, and he's pretty unimpressed by this turn of events, especially when he learns that being a revenant leaves you with no free will: whoever holds the stone (and your heart) controls you completely. I don't usually read much horror, and the shambling zombie that Earl becomes is a good illustration of why. Returning from the dead is not a pretty business, and Leverone doesn't pull his punches in terms of gruesome description, so I spent quite a lot of this book feeling sick. Nevertheless, Earl manages to remain a sympathetic character, even as he begins to decompose.
The real stars of the story, though, are investigating police officers Mike and Sharon. I loved their struggling post-breakup relationship, and every strained interaction was very believable as they fought to put their personal issues to one side to focus on the case. And of course, their continuing devotion to one another is clear whenever either of them is in danger.
This is a stand-alone novel but the characters' flashbacks do give away a lot of the plot of the earlier Paskagankee (which I haven't read), so if you mind that sort of thing, you may prefer to read them in order. I'll certainly be interested in catching up with the series.