This collection seems to include every conceivable genre cliché in the hard-boiled tradition, from moody private investigators to sexually licentious rich women to sexy blue-collar studs seducing every female player in the story. In addition to creating flat characters and painfully noncompelling romantic tension, each of the 20 authors, including Lee Child, Charlaine Harris, and Mary Higgins Clark, makes sure to reiterate the full names of all the main characters in their individual chapters, which gets distracting after a while. Christopher Evan Welch's narration is pleasant enough during most of the text, but his somewhat overdone accents grate when paired with the clichéd characters. VERDICT Although the book is billed as a fundraiser for a domestic violence charity (after author and editor compensations), this is not recommended unless your library is feeling particularly generous. ["Readers can't go wrong with this juicy thriller written serial style," argues the review of the Touchstone hc, LJ 10/1/13.]—Victoria A. Caplinger, NoveList, Durham, NC
Despite the usual serial-novel pitfalls, C.J. Box, Lawrence Block, Mary Higgins Clark, Charlaine Harris, Val McDermid, and the 15 other distinguished crime authors who each contribute a chapter to this team project succeed in fashioning an engaging and cohesive plot. Each author maintains his or her distinctive style and storytelling approach. Marcia Clark’s offering is a mini–legal thriller, for example, while Heather Graham’s is heavy on the romance. Wealthy Julia Drusilla hires former NYPD homicide cop Pericles “Perry” Christo to find her missing 20-year-old daughter, Angelina, who’s set to inherit a fortune. The trail to Angel, as her family calls her, twists from Manhattan’s Upper East Side to the Hamptons and Brooklyn. Everyone in Angel’s life has an ulterior motive, including her father, boyfriend, and best friend. The chapters move seamlessly as clues and storylines set up by one author are expanded by the next. Royalties in excess of editor and contributor compensations go to Safe Horizon, America’s largest provider of services for domestic violence victims. (Oct.)
Each chapter is a gem, as though this were the only project that the writer had on his or her desk … well done!
Good book, good cause, bad guy caught: win, win, win.
When 20 of the best crime writers of our time team up to write a story, you know it will be worth the read. . . . The imagery evoked is noire, the PI just hardboiled enough, and the main reason for the investigation is a true femme fatale.
A wonderfully written mind teasing mystery. The plot twist and turns will have you questioning and second guessing till the end. Each chapter starts with the contributing author so not only do you get a great story but a good taste of each author's individual work...making us want more.
Not a hiccup from one chapter to the next. It's a delightful book. … But what else can you expect when these tried and true authors combine their skills?
Each chapter is written by a different author (all top-notch contributors ranging from Charlaine Harris and Heather Graham to John Connolly to Mary Higgins Clark) who moves the story forward in his or her own distinctive style . . . culminating in a surprising and shocking conclusion masterfully written by Lawrence Block. Thrillers fans will definitely want to check this book out! Not only is it a good read, you can feel good too as it supports a very worthy cause!
Well drawn and idiosyncratic . . . [with] some amazing twists. An entertaining mystery.
"Although it’s not a sequel to 2011’s No Rest for the Dead, this novel-by-committee is a very good followup. Twenty writers—among them such notables as Billingham, Box, Bruen, Connolly, and McDermid—combine forces. … There are some stylistic variations between the 20 authors—John Connolly doesn’t sound like Charlaine Harris—but, for the most part, the story moves as though there were a single hand on the tiller. Not merely a genre curiosity, the book is a well-told mystery that stands on its own two (or 40) feet."
Inherit the Dead isn’t the first book written by a group of popular writers … but this novel-by-committee has to be one of the best. The novel grabs you in the first section and keeps building.… It isn’t often that you get to have so much fun while contributing to a wonderful charity.
A rich divorcée's estranged daughter, Angelina Loki, has gone missing, and the mother, Julia Drusilla, hires PI Pericles (Perry) Christo to find her. Ostensibly, the reason is an inheritance due on Angel's upcoming 21st birthday; Angel must sign documents on that day in order to claim her fortune. Perry can't afford to turn down the case, even though it smells fishy from the get-go. Trolling the length of Long Island and back to Manhattan, the puzzled PI meets a boatload of shady characters, almost all familiar to ardent crime fiction readers. There's the oddball father, the sleazy boyfriend, the married politician lover, the disloyal best friend, and even a shadowy character following Perry. Deducing what happened to Angel is quite the chase! VERDICT Readers can't go wrong with this juicy thriller written serial style by 20 popular authors (including Child, C.J. Box, and Val McDermid) that pays homage to classic noir fiction (Dashiell Hammett, anyone?). If Sandra Brown and others' No Rest for the Dead caught your patrons' attention, then grab this one, too. It's just right for season-in-a-box binge viewers, and all publishing profits go to a good cause, Safe Horizon.
In a follow-up, though hardly a sequel, to the round-robin novel No Rest for the Dead (2011), 20 authors team up to track down a missing heiress and raise money for the victims' support group Safe Horizon. Angelina Loki couldn't have picked a worse time to run away from the home she shares with her father, nonpracticing lawyer Norman Loki. Little does Angel know that in two weeks, when she turns 21, she's set to split a mammoth trust fund with Norman's ex, neurotic socialite Julia Drusilla--if she signs the appropriate papers that very day. Editor Santlofer shows Julia hiring private eye Pericles Cristo, who was framed and forced out of the NYPD, in his capable opening chapter. From that point on, routine is the order of the day. The story is so familiar and the chapters so short that the star-studded roster of authors would have to struggle to endow their contributions with any originality, and most of them settle for keeping the ball in play. Some of them introduce new characters for Perry to question; some of them don't. James Grady, Dana Stabenow and C.J. Box take it upon themselves to develop the plot; Heather Graham, Marcia Clark and Val McDermid wallow in genre clichés. The episodes, interrupted periodically by anonymous snippets from the criminal's point of view, are so formulaic that even though Ken Bruen and Max Allan Collins sound just like they always do, Perry's whole skein of conversations--you can hardly call them adventures--are readily integrated into a seamless story whose only problem is that it isn't very interesting. Other contributors include Stephen L. Carter, Charlaine Harris, Sarah Weinman, Bryan Gruley, Alafair Burke, John Connolly, Lisa Unger, S.J. Rozan, Mary Higgins Clark, Mark Billingham and Lawrence Block, all of them presumably recruited for the much better work they've done elsewhere.