Worse things than gators lurk in the Louisiana swamp. . . . The author of The Faceless One fuses the twisted imagination of Fritz Leiber with the razor-sharp plotting of Joe Hill in this rollicking horror thriller Deadlight Jack.
Appearances can be deceiving. Take Jimmy Kalmaku. Anyone passing him on the streets of Lake Nisqually, Washington, would merely see an elderly man. But Jimmy is actually a powerful Tlingit shaman, with a link to the god Raven and a résumé that includes saving the world.
Or take his friend and roommate, George Watters. Another ordinary retiree, right? Wrong. Like Jimmy, George is more than he seems to be. He too has a link to the supernatural. He too has saved the world.
Then there’s Professor Foxfire—also known as Deadlight Jack. Dressed in the garb of a stage magician, he seems a figure of magic and fun. But he isn’t fun at all. He isn’t even human. And his magic is of the darkest and bloodiest kind.
When George’s grandson vanishes on a family vacation to the Louisiana bayou, George and Jimmy fly across the country to aid in the search. Once they arrive, family feuds and buried secrets bring George face-to-face with the ghosts of a forgotten past; Jimmy finds his powers wilting under the humid Southern sun; and deep in the swamp, Deadlight Jack prepares his long-awaited revenge. – Goodreads
Deadlight Jack Review
Off-beat and unexpectedly entertaining, Deadlight Jack delivers a delightful supernatural horror read. George and Jimmy, African-American and Native American respectively, found themselves teaming up after becoming friends in a nursing home. (Yes, a nursing home. Both our main characters are well past middle age.) They’ve already solved one case together, one that nearly killed them. They didn’t expect they’d find themselves embarking on another adventure. At least not so soon. But then George’s grandson disappears, and it’s clear there’s more than just human evil at work.
The main characters are old farts, they know it, and they’re fine with it. They’ve both had experience with the supernatural. Neither has had a great life. Jimmy was the shaman for his tribe that turned away from the old ways when he lost something precious. George wasn’t strong enough to be the dad that his family needed him to be. He’s determined to change that. Neither has the ability to give up (or sometimes even use common sense) when someone they know is in danger. So, when George’s grandson disappears, the old men have nothing to lose and everything to gain. It should be noted that they (well, more-so George than Jimmy) enjoy flinging racial slurs at each other.
The pacing in Deadlight Jack is pretty near perfect. Though there’s not a lot of kick-butt action scenes (main characters are just a tad old for that!), there’s a wonderful sense of atmosphere and building tension. The author does a great job of sinking you quickly into the world of the bayou. The mugginess, the slowness, and the sense of danger lurking under the surface. The evil is absolutely un-apologetically evil. There’s no sad back story here. It just enjoys pain and suffering.
Deadlight Jack also has a touch of the surprisingly whimsical in it. Help comes from an unexpected place, and take the form of something you’d never imagine. It could seem ridiculously ill-fitting, but it doesn’t. Instead, because you’re already immersed in this world of odd occurrences, it just makes you grin a bit. I definitely want to go back and read the first book in this series.