Contemporary urban-fantasy noir, the second case (Greywalker, 2006) for Richardson’s Seattle-based psychic PI Harper Blaine.
Following a near-death experience, Harper became a Greywalker, with the ability to see and enter a paranormal dimension inhabited by ghosts and other, much nastier things. This time out, Harper’s client is creepy psychology professor Gartner Tuckman; he’s set up a psychological experiment in which he claims to have artificially generated a poltergeist—at least, the experiment’s group members believe they have. Tuckman helped their belief along by inserting his own operative, Mark Lupoldi, into the group’s séances to produce table rappings and rockings and other poltergeist-like phenomena. And Tuckman admits that he selected the group members because their personalities would clash and strike sparks. However, the experiment’s now out of hand, producing hauntings far above the scale predicted by Tuckman. And when Harper examines the room, she finds evidence of genuine paranormal energies. Then events take a sinister turn: Lupoldi turns up dead, brutally smashed against the wall of his apartment. With no apparent motive, Harper—barely distracted by Seattle PD detective Rey Solis, not to mention her own on-again, off-again boyfriend Will Novak, currently sidelined in London—investigates the group members, beginning with Tuckman himself. But what if the poltergeist is real, and as powerful and frenzied as it appears? Harper will need all her wits and the expert assistance of high-ranking, intimidating vampire Carlos to crack the case.
A plodding installment, with no significant plot or narrative tension, and little attempt to probe the further mysteries of the paranormal.