Seeing ghosts turns out to be the least of Will "Dead" Kennedy's problems in SEAN STEWART 's magical PERFECT CIRCLE (Small Beer Press). The psycho-thriller's 32-year-old alt-punk protagonist loses his crummy pet-store job, gets shot in the chest, ticks off his ex-wife and adoring daughter, and—the ultimate indignity—has to navigate Houston's steamy sprawl by bus. Things start looking up when the owners of a spirit-infested house offer him money to intercede with their spooks—until Will finds he's haunted by demons scarier than any garden-variety poltergeist. Stewart's quicksilver wit makes Perfect Circle perfectly hilarious. And, a supremely skilled storyteller, he saves the best for last.