Way back at the end of August, in anticipation of the TSL’s Horrorthon, I went down to my local Half-Price Books and I explored their collection of old horror paperbacks. Among the books that I pulled off the shelf was The Dead Man’s Kiss by Robert Weinberg.
I randomly opened the book and I found myself reading about a woman named Sarah having sex with a resurrected Egypitan sorcerer. I flipped to another part of the book and suddenly, I was reading about a bunch of Neo-Nazis working with a resurrected Egyptian sorcerer to overthrow the U.S. government. I flipped through the book again and suddenly, I was reading about two wisecracking cops discussing how weird it was that they had gone from chasing Neo-Nazis to chasing a resurrected Egyptian sorcerer.
In short, it sounded like a weird book so I bought it and I read it.
And you know what? It is a strange book. Published in 1992, it tells the story of Jambres, a priest in ancient Egypt who was punished for a crime that he didn’t commit. Somehow, this led to his soul being split in half and, now that he’s convinced a bunch of Neo-Nazis to resurrect him, he’s determined to bring the two halves together and then rule the world. Unfortunately, the only way that Jambres can walk around the modern world is by entering someone’s body through their mouth. This may kill the host but it gives Jambres a body and a set of memories to use. The only problem is that the body starts decaying as soon as Jambres enters it, so he and the white supremacists are constantly having to search for a new body for him to inhabit.
While Jambres and the Nazis are wondering around Chicago, they’re being pursued by two unflappable cops. Also on the case is a former MOSSAD agent, who has been assigned to protect the mild-mannered museum worker that Jambres has targeted for death. It all leads to love, of course. Love and death.
The plot of Dead Man’s Kiss has a make-it-up-as-you-go-along feel to it. It’s ludicrous but likable, complete with bizarre dialogue and improbable plot twists. The book may not make too much sense but it does make for an entertaining 250 pages.