Chris Knopf, Dead Anyway (2012), (review from the archives by Jeff Meyerson)
People always ask (I know, I ask too) how you decide what to read next. Might as well ask, how do you decide what to read, period? I have a list of favorite authors whose books I read when they come out but for newer writers or ones I don't know I tend to lean on recommendations from friends, reviews here or on other blogs, plus newspaper and magazine reviews. If they sound interesting to me, I'll check them out.
Chris Knopf had two earlier series set in the Hamptons but this is the first in a new series.
Apparently Bill Crider reviewed it when it came out last year but somehow his review did not make enough of an impression on my brain until I read his review of the sequel a few weeks ago, linking back to his Dead Anyway review. Then I thought, this sounds good. And it is.
How's this for starting with a bang? Arthur Cathcart, an overweight 40ish guy working at home doing market research and other high end computer research, married to a gorgeous woman who owns a real estate firm near their home in Connecticut, comes home from a walk to find his wife sitting on the couch and a man holding a gun on her. The man insists she answers five questions written on a paper, and to emphasize his seriousness, he shoots her husband in the thigh. She answers the questions only to have the man, clearly a hired killer, shoot her in the head and kill her. Then he shoots Cathcart, who somehow doesn't die.
Now you may be able to resist seeing what happens next, but I sure couldn't. Cathcart is gravely injured and decides (with the help of his physician sister) to stay dead and use his computer skills to discover who killed his wife and why, not easy in the post-9/11 world. But first he has to recover enough physically and mentally to be able to act. Along the way he gets some help from a woman named Natsumi Fitzgerald, who throws her lot in with his.
I really enjoyed this one and will be reading the sequel as soon as it comes in to the library. Definitely recommended.
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