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DEAD ANYWAY
by Chris Knopf
The Permanent Press, September 2012
288 pages
$28.00
ISBN: 1579622836


Buy in the UK | Buy in Canada

Arthur Cathcart has a good life. He is a professional researcher and has an excellent marriage. One day when he comes home from work, he finds a stranger aiming a gun at his wife, Florencia. The assailant demands that she sign a document; after she does so, he shoots both Florencia and Arthur in the head. Florencia dies; Arthur spends several months in a coma. With the aid of his sister, a physician, he decides to fake his own death and seek vengeance. Along the way Arthur meets a female casino dealer, Natsumi Fitzgerald, who helps him with his quest. With Natsumi's assistance, he creates an elaborate con that has him working with organized crime so that he can find the killer. Unfortunately, Arthur also finds that his beloved wife had some secrets of her own.

Just think about how incredibly complicated it would be to fake your own death and assume a new identity. Cathcart is meticulous in considering every possible means of his new persona being uncovered; a large part of the appeal of this book is how he manages to do that so well. Knopf exhibits great creativity in identifying the issues that Arthur faces and coming up with ways to work around them. As much as I admired Arthur's ability to create a credible alter ego, I really liked the way that Natsumi related to him and kept him from losing perspective.

Although at times things are a bit too convenient (e.g., the ways in which his sister helps him), I thoroughly enjoyed the book. It was suspenseful, witty, creative and had two very appealing lead characters. Knopf is best known for the Sam Acquillo series. DEAD ANYWAY is his first standalone; the conclusion of the book establishes that this may very well be the first in a new series.

Formerly a training development manager for a large company, Maddy is now retired and continues to enable the addiction of crime fiction fans as owner of the online discussion group, 4 Mystery Addicts(4MA), while avidly reading in every possible free moment herself.

Reviewed by Maddy Van Hertbruggen, October 2012

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Contact: Yvonne Klein (ymk@reviewingtheevidence.com)


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