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Something Deadly    by Rachel Lee order for
Something Deadly
by Rachel Lee
Order:  USA  Can
Mira, 2004 (2004)
* *   Reviewed by Martina Bexte

When island doctor/medical examiner Declan Quinn arrives on scene to examine the body of one of his patients he isn't sure whether he's dealing with a new virus or something completely unexplainable. Within hours the corpse shrivels into a dried out husk. The next day the victim's wife dies in the same mysterious manner. Declan wastes no more time -- he puts the island of St. Martin under a quarantine order and calls in CDC experts from the mainland.

Veterinarian Markie Post wishes that she could somehow communicate with the island's dogs the way she can with her wolf cross companion Kato. He's always been very protective of her, but over the last few days he's been doubly vigilant and especially restless. Markie quickly notices an unsettling pattern in not only Kato's protective behaviour, but other island dogs as well. All display various forms of distress, from howling to biting themselves. Markie agrees to share any findings with Declan but is unable to pinpoint a medical reason for the dogs' strange behaviour. Even the CDC experts are stumped. When science gives them no answers Markie and Declan turn to the island locals for information and soon realize that a vengeful spirit can be even more frightening that science gone amok. Someone has raised the spirit of long-dead plantation mistress Annie Black, and now she's loose on St. Martin, delivering her own special brand of vengeance.

Rachel Lee adds a bit of old fashioned horror to a nicely rendered tale about greedy treasure hunters, a ghost bent on revenge and the special sixth sense some humans share with their animal friends. A cast of believable and sympathetic characters, good pacing, a nice romance and a nifty ghost busting twist gives this story that extra panache that pushes it beyond the ordinary supernatural tale. Something Deadly confirms that Rachel Lee is indeed a versatile and imaginative storyteller.

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