Slaves to Evil by Lisa Klink (47North, 2012)
With the 11th installment of the series, Slaves to Evil, Lisa Klink becomes the first woman to pen a Dead Man novel. As a writer for television, she has the background to do the series correctly. Her credits include several novels and writing for the Star Trek franchise.
In Slaves to Evil, Matt Cahill, the man who was died and born again, travels to a town outside Duluth. He’s on his way somewhere else when he has a vision of a local cop as a rotting corpse, evidence of intrinsic evil, Mr. Dark’s work, or both. Matt decides to get off the bus and investigate.
As Matt encounters the source of the plague:
“…A cop wearing a gold star on his chest with the word “Chief” was talking to a tearful woman near one of the wrecks. She started sobbing, and he gave her a compassionate hug. She clung to him, her face inches away from the bloody, putrefying flesh that was the chief’s rotting face, his jawbone visible through his rotted cheek.”
Stop me if you’ve heard this one before: the seemingly idyllic suburban town is a mess of corruption under the surface. It’s familiar story, one which people from the big city like to hear. unfortunately, the story is sometimes true. As Holmes observed in “The Adventure of the Copper Beeches”, what comes to light quickly in the big town can fester in the country for years.
Complicating matters is a young woman named Elena who is after Matt because he killed her brother. The brother was involved with a group trying to blow up a mosque in the southern US when Matt had to take him and his entire group out of commission. No matter,the young woman believes Matt to have killed her brother in cold blood and has sworn to kill him. She’s almost successful, but Matt manages to capture her. Now he has to stop the source of evil in the town and care for a prisoner.
Someone should keep a running track of how many life-threatening injuries Matt has suffered in this series since he was first resurrected. The series’ creators have at least managed to explain how Matt rapidly heals. This takes care of the problem endemic to the 1930’s and 40’s pulp heroes who took a bullet hit every month and managed to heal-up naturally by the next adventure.It is indicated that a fatal injury would take him out permanently..
But to tell more would ruin the story.
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