Shaman Joanne Walker can’t seem to catch a break in the penultimate chapter of Murphy’s outstanding and long-running series. Initially reluctant to draw on her shamanic gifts, Joanne has come a very long way over the course of the series, and her battles against the Master are coming to a head. Her past and present collide in this emotionally charged novel that illustrates Joanne’s unique evolution.
Joanne has not yet recovered from losing her estranged mother in Ireland, when she receives a phone call from former friend and FBI agent Sara telling her that her father has disappeared in the North Carolina Mountains region of the Cherokee Qualla reservation. Returning home to Qualla is an emotional journey: Joanne’s son, Aidan, lives there with his adoptive mother. Joanne also learns that Lucas — Aidan’s biological father — is missing. Upon entering the mountains, Joanne discovers she is up against some seriously dangerous magic. Thankfully and unexpectedly, her former boss and current lover Michael arrives driving her beloved car, Petite. Together they must face zombies, magic and time itself. (LUNA, Mar., 384 pp., $14.95)