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“The Next ”


written by Harriet Klausner on 27/05/2006

The Next
Dan Vining
Berkley, August 2006, $23.95, 320 pp.
ISBN 0425209431

Jimmy Miles is a private detective who only takes cases that interest him. That is the perfect profession for a Sailor, a person who died but didn't pass on and in all ways that count remains alive. They interact with the "Norms" have all the money they need, have relationships with the opposite sex and don't need to eat or sleep although they do both. At the moment Jimmy is tailing Lucky, as a favor to his Sailor friend Angel to make sure she doesn't commit suicide.

Strange things are happening in San Francisco surrounding Lucy. Two women always seem to be always around her and she never notices him even though he has passed her while walking. The Norms are committing suicide in record numbers and the sailors are edgy and nervous. When he sees Mary, the woman he loved and lost, Jimmy is reminded about similar circumstances when they resided in Los Angeles. Something dark is causing all the deaths in San Francisco just as it did in Los Angeles years ago and Jimmy is determined to find out what it is.

Dan Vining is one of the few authors who can consistently write great urban noir with a supernatural twist. The concept of Sailors and their similarities and differences to Norms is one of the reasons THE NEXT is so very entertaining. The mystery is well thought out and realistically within the framework of the storyline. Readers will adore Jimmy who is a good sailor who still loves the woman who walked out on him years ago; readers will adore him for being so understanding while trying to help the living.

Harriet Klausner

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