Carole Nelson Douglas, Silver Zombie

Posted June 25, 2012 by Kathy Davie in

Silver Zombie (Delilah Street, Paranormal Investigator, #4)Silver Zombie by Carole Nelson Douglas
Series: Delilah Street, Paranormal Investigator, 4
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Fourth in the Delilah Street, Paranormal Investigator urban fantasy series revolving around a former news reporter whose talent involves mirror-walking. Based in Las Vegas.

My Take
I really like the concept Douglas has and she uses a lot of song references, I just wish she weren’t so cheesy and overly dramatic. Case in point: “I was melted Velveeta cheese in deep need of a…breadstick.”

Oh, please, I hate whiny characters and Delilah whines up a storm in this installment! It’s 2013 and she doesn’t know about drive-in movie theaters?? Miss Vintage Film Buff??

Douglas has been so good at providing us with an independent, intrepid, trustworthy Delilah, but in this story she takes some of that trustworthiness away with her “come hither” with Snow. Actually, now that I think about it, Delilah has always been rather two-faced with Snow. He’s never hidden what he wants from her and Delilah always takes from him. It may be grudgingly, but she still keeps him in her back pocket. He’s the prime reason that Ric is alive and safe and she is delighted to punish him as much as possible for being the one to help. Hypocrite.

We do, at least, discover where Lilith comes from. And we find out why Delilah hates being on her back. It’s an easy explanation with the most disgusting reason used by those jerks running the group homes. I wanna smack a whole lotta people!

It’s an interesting set of encounters: the CinSims interacting to help the good guys; Delilah’s interaction with Snow and his scars; Lilith’s revelations to Delilah; the stormy encounters with Sheena; El Demonio and his plans for international domination…

Snow’s interest in Wichita and future plans for Vegas should be interesting in future installments.

The Story
As part of their therapy to recover from events in Brimstone Kiss, Delilah and Ric have decided to confront Delilah’s ghosts back in Kansas and drive back to Wichita in Dolly. A truly adventurous road trip.

Upon meeting up with Tallgrass, Delilah learns that news coverage has gone downhill. Way downhill. Starting with dropping any coverage of the cow mutilation story. The film of which Tallgrass wants Delilah to liberate from the television studio.

Ric’s intention is to delve into Delilah’s past and learn why she has such a phobia about lying on her back while Delilah interviews Caressa’s not-so-identical twin Lili to see how these twins fit into her own life. It is not a pretty discovery on either count. Good thing Delilah has Helena on her side when they visit Dr. Youmans’ office.

But that’s only the half of it, for Tallgrass has his own concerns about a new Native American enterprise being erected in Wichita—Emerald City hotel/casino with its very own Oz CinSims. An enterprise that’s running into financial problems from a most unexpected source.

The Characters
Delilah Street is a vamp magnet, former news reporter, and now a paranormal investigator working the streets of Las Vegas with a silver familiar courtesy of Snow. Lilith Quince is her CSI double who seems to have an interest in framing Delilah. Dolly is her Biarritz Caddie while Quicksilver is her something else wolfhound with the healing powers. The Enchanted Cottage’s brownies have turned red carpet stylists. Irma is her imaginary friend.

Ricardo Montoya, a.k.a., the Cadaver Kid, is former FBI. Delilah has recently done some body “reconstruction” on Ric. His personal mission is to eliminate the raising of zombies as laborers or CinSims. One of his newest weapons is his silver eye. Leonard Tallgrass is Native American and a former FBI colleague of Ric’s. Dr. Helena Burnside is Ric’s foster mother and psychic to boot. She’s also an attorney with the U.S. Attorney General’s office in D.C. Ben Hassard is the mind behind Emerald City.

Hector Nightwine is Delilah’s landlord and one of the Vegas heavyweights for whom she consults. His butler, Godfrey, is a CinSim from My Man, Godfrey and takes excellent and somewhat fatherly care of Delilah. Howard Hughes (billionaire-turned-vampire) is another of her clients; he seems to own a lot more of Vegas than anyone suspects. Shezmou (see Vampire Sunrise) is both the Lord of the Slaughter and wine god in Egyptian mythology. Now that Delilah’s brought him to life, he’s opening his own shop in Vegas with Delilah as his partner. Cesar Cicereau is a werewolf mob boss who owns the Gehenna Hotel and is a reluctant client of hers. Sansouci is a daytime-walking vampire held hostage by and working for Cicereau. He keeps a stable of women from whom he “sips” although he claims he would give them all up for Delilah.

Snow, a.k.a., Cocaine (of the rock band Seven Deadly Sins), a.k.a., Christophe (owner of the Inferno Hotel) has a rather proprietary interest in Delilah. He’s also willing to do quite a lot for an uncut, original version of the vintage film Metropolis. Grizelle is Snow’s shape-shifting security chief who turns into a white tiger. She doesn’t like Delilah much.

Sheena Coleman is the wicked weather witch from WTCH-TV in Kansas who called up the tornado that drove Delilah out of Kansas (any relationship to The Wizard of Oz is likely intended). Undead Ted Brinkman is the anchorman/vampire Sheena wanted and didn’t want Delilah to have. Too bad Sheena didn’t realize Delilah was totally not interested… Eddie Anderson is a cameraman at the station and a friend of Delilah’s.

Lili West is Caressa Teagarden’s twin living in the exclusive Sunset City retirement neighborhood in Wichita. Mrs. Haliburton was in charge of group homes in Wichita when Delilah was young. Our Lady of the Lake convent school for which Delilah had a scholarship. Mother Superior Ermengarde Wallace is the academic dean for the school; Delilah knew her as Sister Regina Caeli. Dr. Youmans is the doctor the group home insisted Delilah visit. El Demonio Torbellino, Ric’s former “owner”, is expanding his field of operations.

The Immortality Mob resurrects the dead and imprints black-and-white filmscreen actors onto the zombies.

The Cover
The cover is a surprised Delilah strutting against a lightning-green sky with a blurry skull in place of the moon—makes me think of the wizard’s projected head in the Judy Garland version of The Wizard of Oz. Her silver familiar is twining its way up both her forearms and she’s carrying her own sword. The so-slinky, form-fitting green gown is compliments of the “Emerald City Dorothy spa option”.

The title is a portent of things to come when Maria, the Silver Zombie, from Metropolis steps off the screen. And, as the previous books have been, the name of a drink invented by Delilah.

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