Wednesday, October 14, 2015

ARC Review: Dead Investigation by Charlie Price

Dead Investigation
Author: Charlie Price
Publication: Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR) (October 20, 2015)

Description: A companion to Dead Connection, from the Edgar Award–winning author.

In this standalone sequel to Charlie Price's acclaimed debut novel, Murray is a boy who lives in a cemetery and can talk with those buried beneath the tombstones. He'd rather no one knew, but word got out once he helped solve a fellow student's murder. Now people think he's nuts, or want to use his ability for their own ends, or don't care that he might not want to get tangled in another police investigation all over again. But there's been a brutal killing—maybe more than one—and Murray may be able to help unravel the crime, although not without risking his own life.

My Thoughts: DEAD INVESTIGATION was an engaging mystery told from two different points of view.

Murray is a high school senior who lives in a cemetery and can talk to the dead. He is staying in the equipment shed after leaving the home of his prostitute mother. Murray believes that the dead people he talks to in the cemetery are his only friends but he fears that being able to talk to them means that he is mentally ill. Murry does have a couple of living friends too. Pearl and her father Janochek also live in the cemetery. Janochek is the caretaker.

Deputy Roman Gates is an investigator for the local sheriff's office and is the second viewpoint character. Gates is dealing with a gambling addiction which caused him to be jailed and to lose his job. Now, reinstated but at a lower rank, he is trying to rebuild his life. He is also feeling guilty about the suicide death of his only child.

Gates and Murray met before in a previous case. This time Gates is investigating the disappearances of a number of homeless people from the local area. He is also investigating the disappearance of a young man whose father is the CEO of Trask Engineering.

When Murray begins hearing voices outside the cemetery walls, he first tries to ignore them. He doesn't want any publicity or any more suspicion from the police if he reports more bodies. Pearl wants to investigate though. And finally Janochek convinces Murray to contact Gates.

Lots of action, excitement and danger happen before the case is solved. My one quibble with this mystery is its classification as YA. Since at least half of it is told from the viewpoint of 40-ish Deputy Gates, I wonder if it will appeal to YA readers.

Fans of mysteries and characters with strange powers will find this one entertaining. Fans of the first book will definitely want to read this one to find out what happens in Murray and Pearl's lives. 

Favorite Quote:
Murray thought Pearl could see right into him. Right through his pupils into his mind and down into the ball of fear above his stomach. And he thought maybe she knew him like nobody else in the world knew him. And he saw that even though she was disappointed in him, she still liked him, and his chest ached and water came to the corners of his eyes and he rubbed his forehead to smear the drops from falling.
I got this ARC from Macmillan. You can buy your copy here.

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