Book Review - The Undertaker by William Brown
This one was a lot of fun to read... The Undertaker by William Brown. I hated when I had to recharge my iPad before going further. Brown wrote a fast-paced thriller that pits a ordinary systems engineer against the mob, corrupt government officials, a deranged doctor, and a few other characters along the way. The premise was interesting, and Brown's characters made this a joy to read.
Pete Talbott is going about life, minding his own business and trying to get over the loss of his wife during a trip to Mexico. Things change when a hitman shows up trying to find out why he's alive when his obituary shows him as dead. Talbot can let that go, but what he can't forgive is the matching obituary for his wife. No one is allowed to mess with his wife's memory like that. Contrary to the advice of the guy with the gun, Talbott starts digging into the obituary mixup. What he finds is that he and his wife are not the only ones who have spurious obits, and all the notices have the same person signing off on the death notices. The fact that Talbott is still alive is not good news to certain people, and his digging only makes it worse. He has to figure out why he was "dead", what he might have or know that makes other want to make him really dead, and who he can trust in order to call off the dogs so he can go back to his old life.
Far and away, the strength of this book are the characters and dialogue. Talbott is a great mix of courage, stubbornness, improvisation, and cluelessness with an undercurrent of pain and baggage under the surface. His nemesis, Tinkerton, is truly evil and has tentacles all over the place. Talbott has to be quick to stay one step ahead of him. And then there's Sandy Kasmarek... She's pulled into the story when Talbott shows up unexpectedly to get some information on her ex-husband who was one of the phony obits, and she quickly becomes yet another loose end that needs to be "tied up." She's sexy, complex, crazy, and has even more baggage than Talbott. The more he tries to push her away for her own good, the closer she gets, and she wants much more than Talbott is emotionally ready to give. The action is tight, the dialogue is funny and real, and I couldn't help but care deeply about what happened to them.
The Undertaker is well worth downloading to your Kindle (or Kindle app). Once you do, block out some time and settle in for some excellent entertainment. This ended up being one of my favorite recreational reads this year.
Obtained From: Author