Death Ain't But A Word - Zander Marks I'm a sucker for novels with down-and-out losers who are essentially decent and are given a chance to win occasionally . Wilkin Jones, the main protagonist in Zanders Mark's Death Ain't But a Word, is such a character. He is a crack addict barely making it through burglaries and odd jobs, having to deal with urban misfits who are as "crazy as a rabbit sandwich". The only one who seems to take an healthy interest in him is an elderly cemetery caretaker There's a reason for that: Wilkin sees dead people. And the dead person that bothers him the most is his best friend who died when Wilkin was seven years old.

This is a hard novel to describe without giving too much away. Suffice to say there is a psychopathic villain, a mysterious consort of psychics, and lots of ghosts both good and bad. The author is very good at taking somewhat stereotypical characters and giving them a new slant. The plot is in no way stereotypical as Marks moves it from the inner city to the rural mid-west with ease while developing those "stereotypical" characters into ones with three dimensions. Wilkin is the star though. Streetwise but likable and witty, he carries the story. I'm not much on sequels, but this is one time I'm hoping for a sequel just because I like Wilkin Jones so much. This is a an exceptional first-time novel that should appeal to anyone who relishes supernatural fiction.