Jove, June 2004, 7.99, 320 pp.
Private Investigator Jimmy Miles attends Joel Kinsey's Mensa: a Night of Mystery Party at a Malibu mansion. At the event, his host introduces him to Jean Kantke, who wants to hire him to find out whether in 1977 her father, an assistant district attorney, really killed her mother and her lover. He always swore until he died in the gas chamber in 1992 that he was innocent. Jean knows that there is something different about Jimmy, who only takes an occasional case and not always for money.
She doesn't know that he's a Sailor, a person who died but still retains his human form except to those who knew him when he was alive. They see a different face when they look at him. He never ages and doesn't need sleep. Though alive, he can't be killed although he can be hurt or injured. Nobody could be better suited to find out the truth about Jean's family than him because he has to deal with some very nasty people, including other dangerous Sailors.
This dark urban noir supernatural private investigative story is different, quirky and scary because nobody, including the Sailors, knows why they still live or what they have to do to be at rest. Jimmy is a refreshingly original character who seems at peace with his state of affairs and helps others like himself when they first become aware of what has happened. This reviewer hopes that the protagonist stars in other novels because he is a complex person whose realm is interesting and his solving a case a delight to observe.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner