Characters who can speak to the dead… I don’t know why they appeal to me as much as they do. But there’s something about them that draw me to a book, and make me at least want to read more of it, if not buy it altogether.
Michele Lang’s The Night Docket is no exception. The main character, Nicole, intrigued me as soon as I read the book’s summary. I mean, a lawyer who speaks to the dead to solve cold cases at night? That sounds like a really good read.
Today’s excerpt only drew me in more, and I’m quite happy to be sharing it with you. Before you take a look, though, jump over to Michele’s Rafflecopter, where she’s giving out a $25 Amazon gift card and a free copy of The Night Docket.
So, ready to find out more about Nicole?
Beware of the dead.
When you have the so-called “gift” of speaking through the veil, you open yourself up to a world of hurt when you dare to listen instead of talk.
I was listening to the girl apologizing to me in the groovy bedroom of death. And she was leading me down the rabbit hole to my own destruction.
The fact she felt bad about it didn’t make the danger any less.
I was a street lawyer, Nicole Farmer, Esq., no-holds-barred fighter for the down and out. That didn’t mean I was a shill for my clients. It just meant I was willing to listen to them.
Even the dead ones.
I took another look around. The room didn’t evaporate under my scrutiny…just like in waking life, the details got sharper the more I focused on them. The bloody handprints on the walls glowed in the weird light of the lava lamp, still erupting by the wrecked murder-scene of a bed. The sickly-sweet smell of death lingered in the air, like a satanic perfume.
“Forget it,” I told her. “You don’t have to apologize.”
The girl visibly relaxed.
“What’s your name?” I asked. “And how old are you, and where is this place? You’re obviously a grown woman, but I keep thinking you’re a girl. And that’s just freaking weird.”
“Well, I am a girl. I’m only, like, twenty-three years old.” She hesitated, for effect. “And my name is Evangeline.”
The name didn’t sound real, it sounded like a dream name. I wanted to believe all of this was nothing more than a sliver in my brain, a crazy dream. Because if she was real, I was going to be chasing her problems in my dreams for months.
Her voice carried a slight Southern drawl, which surprised me, because I knew I was still in the shithole town of Amistad, Connecticut. I just knew it.
“This apartment is near my office, right?” I asked. “This place must be just down the street…the slant of the light through the window…”
I suddenly realized that it was daylight on the dream plane, and sunshine was streaming from behind the cracked venetian blinds. When it was day in the dream plane, it was night back in my ordinary world.
Looked like noontime here at the murder scene…I guessed it was something like midnight back in my own bed. The girl in black was flooded in light, backlit, and it was hard for me to make out her features.
“I better explain,” Evangeline said. “It’s the least I can do. Yes, this is Amistad, Connecticut. This is my place. The blood is mine. I mean…I didn’t splash it around or anything. I mean…”
I squinted, trying to look into her eyes. Trying to get to the bottom of her little speech.
“You were murdered in this room,” I said. “In 1973.”
She hesitated. “Well, it was almost 1973—really it was late 1972. But close.”
I sighed. Here I went again. “This is one of my serial killer dreams, isn’t it, Evangeline?” “Well, yeah. But your dreams aren’t dreams.”
About The Night Docket
Praise for author Michele Lang:
“Lang is a writer to watch and is sure to have wide appeal to fans of Jim Butcher, Kat Richardson, and other urban fantasy A-listers.” -Booklist
“A groundbreaking, rich, enthralling series….stakes that couldn’t be higher. A tour de force!” – Rachel Caine, NYT best-selling author of the Morganville Vampire series (for the Lady Lazarus series)
“Michele Lang is a talented writer and gifted storyteller…one of the leading voices in historical urban fantasy.” — D.B. Jackson, author of THIEFTAKER
When you do your part to kill a necromancer, death isn’t the final goodbye.
No, it’s not the end.
Instead, it’s more like pouring gasoline on a dumpster fire…
By day, solo street lawyer Nicole Farmer represents the down and out in the tough town of Amistad, Connecticut. Bankruptcies, divorces, criminal defense, foreclosures…Nicole’s clients are the hardest-luck cases in a hard-luck rustbelt city.
Fighting the good fight, Nicole has to hustle just to make a living. And by night, unquiet spirits call to her on the dream plane, seeking revenge and healing…and demanding that she solve the coldest cases of all.
Powered by coffee and a sparkly pink cell phone with uncanny mojo, Nicole was made for trouble and badassery. But even she can’t go 24/7 without a break. Sooner or later, she knows she will crack.
Everything changes when Evangeline, the spirit of a murdered young woman, invades Nicole’s dreams. Her killer, a power-hungry and psychopathic warlock, wants to strike again.
Nicole commits to hunting Evangeline’s killer…and opening the Night Docket means all hell breaks loose in Amistad.
Attacked by enemies living and undead, Nicole must face her own past, call in all her favors, and find a way to achieve cosmic justice — without losing her own life and soul…
You will love Michele’s new contemporary urban fantasy series! Read it now, and instantly disappear into the otherworldly, dangerous landscape of Amistad and the Afterworld.
About Michele Lang
Michele Lang writes fantasy, science fiction, crime, and romance, as well as non-fiction. Her Lady Lazarus WWII historical fantasy series was published by Tor Books, and her short fiction has been published by DAW, PM Press, and WMG Press, among others. Her story “Sucker’s Game” was included in the Anthony Award-nominated anthology, Jewish Noir.
Michele is a recovering lawyer who has practiced the unholy craft of litigation in both New York and Connecticut. She returned to her native New York shortly before 9/11, and now lives in a small town on the North Shore of Long Island with her husband, her sons, and a rotating menagerie of cats, hermit crabs, and butterflies.