In Joshua Williamson’s Ghosted (vol. 2): Books of the Dead, Jackson T. Winters is given yet another offer he can’t refuse, and again it’s got him dealing in ghosts and the possessed (And if you haven’t read volume 1 yet, start there and read my review of Ghosted (vol. 1): Haunted House). When we last saw Jackson, he was on his island in a little paradise all his own. But his paradise is next to a resort, and with people coming and going, it was only a matter of time before someone from his past life spotted him. This man sees Jackson, picks up his cell, and calls someone Jackson once wronged. Jackson shows up just as the phone call ends and kills the man; unfortunately, the call has been made, and he has only a short time to pack up and get out of there. As you might expect, he takes a little too long packing, and a deadly man named Skinner shows up in time to put a few bullets in him.
Luckily for Jackson, Skinner was supposed to bring him in alive, so they patch him up. Before they do, Jackson dies briefly, and in that short moment, he sees the spirit of Anderson Lake, the woman he killed in the previous volume. Anderson will continue haunt Jackson throughout this volume, which is a perk for readers, since her antagonistic dialogue with Jackson was one of the enjoyable aspects of the first volume. When Jackson wakes up from nearly dying, he finds he’s in Vegas, where his last heist failed twelve years ago, the one that put him in prison before we met Jackson at the beginning of volume one.
In Vegas, he is confronted by Wenona Blood Crow, the owner of the casino he tried to rob. Wenona wants Jackson’s help, thanks to his reputation for knowing something of the occult: Wenona’s granddaughter, Nina, has been kidnapped by The Brotherhood of the Closed Book and taken down to Mexico. The catch is that Nina has been possessed by a ghost, and that’s why the Brotherhood wanted her in the first place: They traffic in possessed women. The real problem for Jackson, however, is that Nina may not want go back to her grandmother for some strange reason.
This volume is another fun trip into the land of the occult. It turns out that the Brotherhood of the Closed Book is less interested in selling the women than using their connection with that which is beyond our world, or perhaps nestled within it. They seek that which might be revealed by those secrets found inside the Necronomicon and other books like the Grimoire and The Codex. Also in this volume, via flashbacks, we get the story of what went wrong twelve years ago when Jackson tried to rob a casino built on a haunted burial site. This series is a fun ride, and certainly for those who are into stories of the possessed, of the haunted, and of the occult. Ghosted: Books of the Dead is certainly worth reading, and like volume one, it is a self-contained story.