Bleak History by John Shirley
Source: Review copy provided by the publisher
As far as Gabriel Bleak is concerned, talking to the dead is just another way of making a living. It gives him the competitive edge to survive as a bounty hunter, or "skip tracer," in the psychic minefield known as New York City. Unfortunately, his gift also makes him a prime target. A top-secret division of Homeland Security has been monitoring the recent emergence of human supernaturals, with Gabriel Bleak being the strongest on record. If they control Gabriel, they'll gain access to the Hidden -- the entity-based energy field that connects all life on Earth. But Gabriel's got other ideas. With a growing underground movement called the Shadow Community -- and an uneasy alliance of spirits, elementals, and other beings -- Gabriel's about to face the greatest demonic uprising since the Dark Ages. But this time, history is not going to repeat itself. This time, the future is Bleak. Gabriel Bleak. (Goodreads synopsis)
The whole idea of this book really appealed to me. I like the thought of using ghosts and supernatural powers to help locate bail jumpers. And Gabriel Bleak is one of those characters that could use the extra edge his abilities give him, as his life hasn't been easy.
Bleak is a bounty hunter who doesn't do well with authority, which is why he's no longer in the military and is doing his best to stay out of the clutches of CAA, a secret government agency. Any time a secret government agency is involved, you know they're up to no good! The CAA is no exception, as they want to use anyone with special abilities to advance their own agenda. Or should I say "misuse", because the people they've detained are basically prisoners with no say in how they use their abilities. CAA may have started out with a noble purpose, but it's been twisted and corrupted by evil.
Really enjoyed this story! I liked Gabriel and Loraine, the CAA agent sent to capture him. Didn't like several of the bad guys, which makes sense since they're, well, bad guys. Thought the plot was good, the story was well-paced, good action, things made sense, and the ending left me wanting more. Shirley is a talented writer, and I'm definitely going to check out his other books as I liked this one so much!