Tuesday, 19 June 2018

Dead Is Better by Jo Perry


Dead Is Better by Jo Perry
Published by Fahrenheit Press in 2016.
Get a 20% Off Coupon when you Buy Direct from Fahrenheit Press!

How I got this book:
Received a free ebook via a publisher's promotion

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Where to buy this book:

The Book Depository : from £6.95 (PB)
Wordery : from £5.63 (PB)
Fahrenheit Press : from $1 / £0.99 (ebook)
Amazon : from $2.70 / £1.99 (ebook)
Prices and availability may have changed since this post was written

Charles Stone has just woken up dead. Well he’s pretty sure he’s dead, what with the bullet holes in his chest and all. He also appears to be totally alone in the after-life except for the ghostly dog who seems to be his new companion. Unable to interact with the world of the living other than watching and listening, he and the dead dog (whom he names Rose) have nothing to do and all the time in the world to do it. 

When Charles and Rose try to unravel the circumstances of Charles's death, they uncover a criminal who is raking in millions of dollars by cruelly exploiting, and sometimes killing, his victims. 

But what difference can a ghost make? 
And what does the damn dog have to do with any of this?

Dead Is Better is an unusual take on the cosy(ish) mystery genre in that its protagonist, the unfortunate Charles, narrates from beyond the grave and because he doesn't initially have any idea what he is meant to do. Stuck in some kind of limbo existence, Charles and his new silent dog friend gently float around Los Angeles following what may or may not be leads (no pun intended). This story was very different to my normal bookish fare and, while I mostly enjoyed the story, there just wasn't really enough for me to get my teeth into. I felt that Charles' detachment from the world at large carried on to me as a reader so I wasn't able to get into the story as much as I would have liked to. Another problem for me is that Dead Is Better has short chapters, each of which begins with a death-related quote from another book or famous person. I initially liked the quotes idea, but soon found that I had to deliberately skip them because they kept dragging me out of the main story. It's difficult to maintain atmosphere when it feels like reading two books simultaneously! As a light mystery tale, Dead Is Better was diverting, but I don't think the premise is strong enough to carry on into a further series.


Search Lit Flits for more:
Books by Jo Perry / Crime fiction / Books from America

6 comments:

  1. Quotes can add a lot to a story but definitely shouldn't have been distracting, this sounds like a good concept, with bad execution.
    Tori @ In Tori Lex

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    1. I think it needed longer chapters, or quotes every 3-4 chapters. Sometimes they seemed to be every other page!

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  2. This is probably something that I would like. I sometimes skip the kind of quotes it sounds like this book has and go back and read them after finishing the book. I have to admit that I am curious about his silent dog friend.

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    1. That's exactly what I did after a while. The quotes themselves were well-chosen and interesting in their own right

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  3. This sounds like a strange one! Is the doggie dead too?

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    1. Yes, both Charles and the doggie are sort-of ghosts. Dead Is Better is strange, but in a good way I think!

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