Harry Keogh, Necroscope, is no more . . .
And the Wamphyri are back - not only in the Vampire World, where the ancient northern ice has melted to release the original, the most evil, most powerful vampires of all time, but in our world, too. Without Necroscope - the one man who could talk to the dead and undead alike - only Ben Trask and the weirdly talented espers of his secret organisation, E- Branch, stand between Mankind's survival and its domination by terrible invaders from Starside.
Trask: human lie-detector; David Chung: locator of all things evil; Ian Goodfly: precog, whose glimpses of the ever-furtive future have so often saved the lives of his E-Branch colleagues. Three men, their technology and the esoteric talents against shape-changing challengers from a parallel universe. The odds don't look good, and Harry Keogh is dead and gone, his motes scattered throughout the Universes of Light. But as Harry himself was witness, death isn't like that . . .
Harry may be dead, but his legacy lives on.
Vast in scope and overripe with extraordinary characters and incidents, Lumleys proliferating Necroscope saga almost mandates a book-length reference companion. This new novel, the 11th in the series (after Resurgence, 1996) and the first in an offshoot trilogy, carries on the tradition in fine form, but also shows the problems inherent in keeping the increasingly byzantine intrigues of these horror/espionage hybrids accessible to new readers. During an explosive start, in which psychic agents of the hard-working E- (short for ESP) Branch smoke out a nest of vampires in the Australian desert, the novel introduces Jake Cutter, another of Lumleys gutsy populist heroes. Jake has been delivered to the paranormal intelligence unit by the ghost of Harry Keogh, the original Necroscope, who foresees a future clash between Jake and a vampire trio wreaking havoc on Earth. Harrys discorporate consciousness takes up residence in Jakes mind, but Jake is totally ignorant of the vampire invaders from the alternate universe of Sunside/Starside and the long-running war that left Harry (and, by proxy, Jake) infected with their taint. This necessitates a lengthy and tedious history of events from the preceding novels, recounted to Jake by both mortals and monsters in multiple chapters of straight exposition. Granted, Lumleys characters are a lively bunch, but none tell the story as excitingly as he does, and the result is not unlike sitting down at the dinner table with a hearty appetite and hearing about a sumptuous banquet someone else attended. A climactic encounter with the vampire Nephran Malinari in his aerie in the Australian mountains gets the action roaring again by the storys finale, and with luck heralds the end of the laborious updates.