In the first book of this series, Working for the Devil, Saint City native, bounty hunter and plucky necromancer Dante Valentine settles an old score with a remorseless demon while on assignment for Lucifer himself. In the process, she loses Japhrimel, who was initially Luciferís watchdog but later becomes her lover and turns her into part demon, but gains her old Shaman boyfriend, Jace, back.
Saintcrow continues the story in Dead Man Rising with Dante and Jace living and working together but sharing little else. Jace wants his old lover back, but inside the beautiful golden skin of the new half-demon, half-human hedaira that Dante has become still beats a human heart that longs for her dead lover. Tortured over her failure to save Jaf, Dante tries to forget by taking on dangerous bounty after bounty with her newfound demon powers while the faithful Jace tags along no matter how tired or worn out.
When Danteís cop friend Gabe requests her help in solving a series of extremely gory, seemingly unconnected but strangely similar murders, she accepts because she owes Gabe one. Dante soon regrets that decision when evidence gathered begins to point towards a horrific incident that occurred years ago at Rigger Hall, the academic institution ruled by a sadistic headmaster where Dante, together with countless other Psion orphans, suffered beyond imagination and which still holds the power to terrify her present. Torn between the past and the present, will Dante survive the looming confrontation from an evil beyond death, or will she make a new life for herself with a new love?
With Dead Man Rising, Saintcrow continues to fulfill the high expectations engendered by the spectacular story and cast of Working for the Devil. As always, Danteís troubles are many and varied, internal and external, personal and professional. This time she has to cope with her newfound demonic strengths and powers even as she teeters on the verge of becoming a silent emotional wreck after having lost her demon lover. Jace is willing to fill the void, but whether Dante lets him or not is the crucial suspense.
Dante also has another life-changing decision to make: to walk away from the terrors of her past, let innocents continue to die and thus save her own life, or to take a stand against evil and perhaps face death herself. Of nail-biting suspense thereís no lack in this second novel, and this together with the growth of her character and engrossing interpersonal conflicts makes Dead Man Rising perhaps an even better read than the first book. This reviewer greatly looks forward to reading the next book in this series, tentatively titled The Devilís Right Hand.