Friday, February 5, 2010

Dead To Me: By Anton Strout

Dead To Me


Psychometry-the power to touch an object and divine information about its history-has meant a life of petty crime for Simon Canderous, but now he's gone over to the good side. At New York's underfunded and (mostly) secret Department of Extraordinary Affairs, he's learning about red tape, office politics, and the basics of paranormal investigation. But it's not the paperwork that has him breathless.

After Simon spills his coffee on (okay, through) the ghost of a beautiful woman- who doesn't know she's dead-he and his mentor plan to find her killers. But Simon's not prepared for the nefarious plot that unfolds before him, involving politically correct cultists, a large wooden fish, a homicidal bookcase, and the forces of Darkness, which kind of have a crush on him.


Dead to Me is a book that I probably would have never picked up if someone hadn’t recommended it to me. It’s the kind of book that when you browse through the book store you glance at, maybe read the back, but ultimately put back. But now that I’ve read Dead to Me, let me say putting this book back would be a huge mistake.

What makes Dead to Me so interesting and different is that instead of using a protagonist who’s been there, done that, and come back a badass, as many urban fantasy books do, it uses someone who’s idealistic, confused, and can barely follow what’s going on in the grand scheme of things. On top of everything else the protagonist, Simon, works in a government agency that like many business is very, very paperwork oriented. This na├»ve outlook on life and the grumblings of work create and connectable protagonist that has just enough humor to keep it all lively and interesting. Of course Simon isn’t the only good thing about Dead to Me, it also has a quick moving plot, an interesting story, and a good cast of supporting characters.

Of course not everything is great with this book. The villain was laughable, some of the descriptions and recaps were a tad to repetitive and unnecessary, and the character Jane was so horribly written, it makes the reader wish Strout would just kill her off just so we would stop listening to her.

But that said Dead to Me was a fast and interesting read that I’m glad I picked up, and I can’t wait to read the sequel Deader Still.


Publisher: ACE

Published: February 26, 2008

Price: $7.99

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