Opening the book with a monologue from a possibly insane person who is being tortured by possibly non-existent beings is creepy – especially if it’s not all in his imagination.
Justis was a cop, now he’s a private eye. What kind of name is that for detective? He must have taken some awful ribbing about it, but non on-page. He visits his father often, hoping that dad will recognize him, hoping that dad has remembered to eat within the last day or two, hoping that he himself will never end up like his dad but afraid he will. After all, Justis does the magic that burned his dad’s brain.
Justis takes this up with his spirit-mentor, but there’s no time to deal with it because there’s a case. Someone died in a public place, and the cop who used to be Justis’s partner wants a magician’s opinion. The new partner isn’t too happy about this – professional jealousy over a partner can be as bad as personal jealousy.
Plot twists – Was it the right person? Was someone else in that very public place the target? Does the criminal king-pin who took offense at this death have anything to do with the death? Is his father hallucinating or having true visions?
Are there really evil magicians, who have found a way to avoid brain damage by really nasty methods, and is Justis going to have a first-hand look? Will Justis get eaten by a shape-shifter? We know he stays alive for the sequel, but a shifter can mangle someone permanently…
What a roller-coaster of a book.