In Brian Lumley's series of novels, a Necroscope is a person who can freely converse with the dead. The original Necroscope book, published in 1986, stands alone as a single novel and its success gave birth to a whole procession of sequels. 

Necroscope is the story of Harry Keogh, a strange little boy whose mother died in what everyone believed to be a freak accident.  But because Harry Keogh can talk with the dead, his mom was able to tell him that she was murdered by his stepfather. As the story goes, the dead are tied to their bodies, and are generally very lonely and bored, so they are happy to talk. In death they do what they did in life: writers write, architects build, mathematicians solve problems, etc... So Harry was able to use the ideas given freely by those in their graves, and was seen as a genius by teachers and friends. Eventually, Harry attempts to seek out his mother's killer, getting involved with a British espionage branch in the process.

Meanwhile, there is a Russian necromancer named Boris Dragosani who forcefully tears the secrets from the dead. Dragosani learned this trade from a 500 year old Vampire who wishes to use Dragosani's greed for his own gains (namely to free himself of the tomb in which he has been imprisoned). Eventually, Dragosani and Keogh must face each other in battle.

Lumley blends the folklore of vampires with his own creation, the Wamphyri (or, alternately, Vamphyri). The Wamphyri are bloodthirsty, primitive parasites or leeches that control their host vessels from within.  They feed on blood and amplify the host's strengths and emotions in order to get what they want.

The series continues on to flesh out the ideas and concepts introduced in the first book. Most notably, the Wamphyri and their vampric life cycle are explained more thouroughly. The entire series weighs in at 13 volumes, and I just read someone on Amazon.com describe this as "a triskadecology," which is impressive sounding though I'm not sure that's actually a word. In any case, here is the bibliography of the Necroscope series (and its various sub-series)

The Necroscope Series Vampire World Series The Lost Years Series E-Branch Series
My main sources of information for this writeup are http://www.brianlumley.com/ and the first Necroscope book. I'm not very familiar with any of the sequels, so if I left something out (or got something wrong), please let me know, thanks.

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