The second Wraith novel is an improvement, I think. Right from the start Dirscherl throws you into the middle of crazy action.
Recovering from his injuries, The Wraith has to deal with not one, but two crime lords battling for control of the city.
There is yet a third force, though, Natalya Blackova, former right hand woman of The Cobra. She, is of course a supervillain with powers of man control by pheromones. It seems she enhances this effect by dressing like Evira.
Her insanity leads her to introducing toxins into various parts of the supermarket supply chain, killing a lot of people, thus keeping the police, The Wraith, his wife and assistant too busy to deal with her actual target.
None of this is obvious to the reader, neither are the parts of the first scene, where The Wraith infiltrates crime lord #2's mansion to remove a supply of narcotics, with a bang. All is not what it seems there, either.
The Wraith's wife, Leena, is developing into a capable solo character in her own right, so he entrusts some tasks to her.
Car chases, plane chases, capture by alluring superwomen, oh yeah, and a mass of ninjas! Is mass the collective noun for ninjas? :) If you are captured by a crazy superwoman, of course she will make you fight to death in the arena versus your ensorcelled comrades, both old and new.
Same thing with the ninja crowd though, all is not what it seems there, either. I guess I forgot to mention the Zombie Powder, too.
The possibility appears to exist that The Wraith will gain a new assistant, as well.
This book is a whole lot of superheroic pulp fun, and the good news is there seems to be more to come, as there is an afterword by the author detailing his plans to write one Wraith novel a year, with the next due in 2007 based around an Aztec theme.
I look forward to some more of the same.
3.5 out of 5