Relatively uncompelling sequel to Running with the Demon (1997), Brooks’s good (the Word) vs. evil (the Void) clash set in contemporary America. John Ross, Knight of the Word, whose mission and magic powers derive from the Lady, failed while residing in a small California town to prevent a massacre of schoolchildren by demons, and thus quit his mission—or so he thinks: actually, he can’t give up the magic. Here, he stands in terrible danger of being subverted by the Void. The Lady’s messenger, Ariel, visits Nest Freemark, by now 19 and a world-class athlete. Nest agrees to visit Ross in Seattle, where he works in a shelter for the homeless, the brainchild of businessman/industrialist Simon Lawrence, and has fallen in love with a colleague, Stefanie Winslow. Nest warns Ross that he’s in danger and that there’s a demon active nearby; and while Ross agonizes over his situation, Nest nearly succumbs to the demon’s attack. That same night the shelter burns down, killing the night manager who was standing in for Ross. Meanwhile, reporter Andrew Wren is handed documents seeming to prove that both Lawrence and Ross were embezzling. So who is the demon? Nest figures it out and rushes off to warn Ross, but he’s also added things up—and got the wrong answer. The showdown will come on Halloween at the Seattle Art Museum. Unevocative, humdrum, and devoid of narrative tension; still, fans of the previous book will probably want to investigate.