By REGINA M. ANGELI
The second installment of Richard Kadrey's Sandman Slim series has been released in paperback, "Kill the Dead." (Harper; 434 pages)
James Stark (Sandman Slim) has left Hell and is avenging his girlfriend's murder when Lucifer arrives in the City of Angels to oversee the production of a movie about himself.
Apparently, even the Prince of Fallen Angels needs a little muscle in Los Angeles and he hires Sandman Slim to serve as his bodyguard.
Along the way, Stark hooks up with a gypsy zombie huntress and adult film star, Brigitte Bardo, and the two take on a mob of Drifters (zombies) who threaten to destroy the city.
Sandman turns private detective as he searches for the entity who is controlling the zombies. Richard Kadrey's James Stark (Sandman Slim) is the Phillip Marlowe of the macabre.
With off beat humor drenched in too many gory details, the author takes a stab at the current obsession with vampire literature, Hollywood and contemporary society.
In his prologue, Kadrey quotes John Milton and Woody Allen - an ominous sign of the diabolically wild ride he has in store for his reader.