Emmy Awardwinning Hollywood screenwriter Reaves's new and improved fantasy number leaps right over his previous Night Hunter (1995) and Street Magic (1991). Maybe that's because his characters here really take their voodoo seriously. At the prodigal age of 20, Shane LaFitte returns from his travels to his home in Haiti. And although he at first believes Voudoun to be mere charlatanry, he finds himself taken on anyway as a sorcerer's apprentice. Three years later, he's become an accomplished master of white magic phenomena, ``a houngan, the one to whom the townspeople come with their illnesses, their fears and their prayers'' for recovery and redemption. Shane is saved from jail by Jorge Arnez, a beautifully outfitted Cuban refugee who's a far more skilled santero than Shane himself. Their friendship lasts for four years, until Arnez takes up with the black arts. Then both leave Haiti for New Orleans, where Arnez, now known as Mal Sangre, gets going as a pimp. Shane serves six years in the Louisiana State pen for killing his wife Anisse while in a zombie state, induced in him by Mal Sangre. His probation-parole officer, Lia St. Charles, also claims as a client April Delaney, a 19-year-old recovering crack addict and alcoholic streetwalker who's the mother of four-year-old Soukie. Mal Sangre later gets around to kidnapping Soukie for a blood sacrifice to the evil gods. When Shane is set up to be killed by Mal Sangre, he arms himself--but then is busted by Lia for possession of a firearm. So Shane must tunnel his way out of jail, past visions of his dead wife, to prevent the gods from investing Mal Sangre with divine power after his sacrifice of Soukie in Pontchartrain Cemetery. . . . Not bad for those into blood sacrifice.