Contemporary supernatural/horror yarn, though billed as fantasy, from the author of Firedance (1993) and collaborations with Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle (Beowulf's Children, 1995, etc.). In L.A., young black computer games programmer/hacker Derek Waites is horrified when a cop attempts to abduct his children- -promising teenager Troy and lovable young Dee--and his ex-wife Rachel. Recently, Dee has been going into trances and reporting messages from a certain Dahlia Washington. The connection? Well, Derek's family is descended from Dahlia and slave-owner Augustus DuPris; now hundreds of years old, DuPris is a sorcerer who rejuvenates himself by feeding on the life-forces of his descendants. Dahlia says that a man named Tucker can help Derek. Tucker, it emerges, is white, has connections to neo-Nazi groups, and is rotting in jail for murdering his family! But--aha!--Tucker is descended from another sorcerer, The African, DuPris's partner, who preys upon Tucker's family just as DuPris preys upon Derek's. So, even if Derek can bust Tucker out of jail, can the two set aside their differences to save Derek's children and defeat the sorcerers? Despite a few wobbles--and bad guys, for all their longevity, aren't too bright--an absorbing, ironic, and sometimes genuinely wrenching tale.