Alive in Necropolis Author Doug Dorst

Novelist tells the tale of a different kind of ghost buster

Being a cop in Colma, California, should be an easy job — the majority of the residents are dead. The city is a northern neighbor of San Francisco, and for decades has served as its burial ground. More than 1.5 million corpses — many of them famous — are lying six feet under Colma; the buried outnumber the living by thousands to one.

Some view it as a land of the dead, but writer Doug Dorst sees it as the perfect setting for a sinister storyline. His novel Alive in Necropolis follows Michael Mercer, the latest addition to the Colma police department. He’s just getting cozy in his new gig when some unfiled police reports turn up that suggest the dead aren’t resting so peacefully. The man Mercer replaced, Officer Featherstone, believed he was protecting the innocent dead from a violent gang of spirit-criminals led by Doc Barker (son of the infamous Ma Barker, who died at Alcatraz). Mercer dismisses the accounts as the hallucinations of a bored — and perhaps slightly crazy — old man. But all of that changes when ghosts start making cameo appearances during Mercer’s patrols. Dorst reads from Alive in Necropolis at 8:30 p.m. Poison Girl, 1641 Westheimer. For information, call 713-527-9929 or visit www.myspace.com/poisongirlbar. Free.
Thu., Aug. 28, 8:30 p.m., 2008

 
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