For once, Joanne Walker's not out to save the world. She's come to terms with the host of shamanic powers she's been given, her job as a police detective has been relatively calm, and she's got a love life for the first time in memory. Not bad for a woman who started out the year mostly dead.
But it's Halloween, and the undead have just crashed Joanne's party.
Now, with her mentor Coyote still missing, she has to figure out how to break the spell that has let the ghosts, zombies and even the Wild Hunt come back. Unfortunately, there's no shamanic handbook explaining how to deal with the walking dead. And if they have anything to say about it—which they do—no one's getting out of there alive.
Shaman Joanne Walker juggles ghosts, zombies and her day job as a greenhorn Seattle homicide detective in her feverishly cluttered fourth adventure (after 2007's Coyote Dreams). Fortunately, ghost whisperer Billy Holliday is on hand at Joanne's Halloween party when ghosts burst out of a cauldron. When the ancient Cauldron of Matholwch is stolen from a Seattle museum and a dark pall spreads over the city, it's not hard to spot the connection. After a dire premonition, Walker travels the astral planes to join the Wild Hunt on a seemingly unrelated quest. The plot doesn't so much thicken as sag from too many tricky twists and a mishmash of mythology, including Celtic and Native American lore, witchcraft, stage magic, clairvoyance and gods, but at least Joanne remains an appealing protagonist.