In JAKE’S WAKE by John Skipp, now officially one of my favorite authors, and Cody Goodfellow, Pastor Jake is a psychopath who also happens to be a televangelist with a strong following of devout Christians. When his excesses lead to his murder, a small group of people gather at his remote mansion to mourn and fight over exactly who Jake was: a man of God or a man with a gluttonous appetite for evil. Jake has one more surprise in store for them–he rises from the dead and returns home to deliver pain and death upon those who had been closest to him in life in a night of pure terror. It’s classic Skipp–a small group of people terrorized by a seemingly indestructible monster with an insatiable appetite for human suffering. The premise goes beyond that, however, as Jake intends to use his resurrection as the chance to build a religion around himself, and Skipp and Goodfellow widen the story to include news of Jake’s return drawing a wide cast of heroes and weirdos to the mansion. The ending is surprisingly satisfying. Far more than just “our plucky hero/heroine makes it,” it packs a big punch and, with the delivery of the last line, even a little poignancy.