Saturday, June 25, 2011

Book Review: THE DEAD MAN #4 The Dead Woman

Fourth in the DEAD MAN series of short action-adventure stories published by Lee Goldberg and William Rabkin, The Dead Woman is written by David McAfee, who has a number of titles in both print and eBook editions up on Amazon.  McAfee drops our (un?)dead hero Matthew Cahill in the small town of Crawford, Tennessee.  Of course, as luck would have it, there's been a serial killer on the loose in town, and pretty quickly Matt gets himself embroiled in the local drama.  Offering to aid Abbey, a young woman trying to close up her mother's antiques shop, Matt runs afoul of Abbey's ex-husband, Dale, one of the town's police officers.  Killers, cops, and beautiful young ladies, oh my...

I won't ruin the plot by giving much else away, but Matt winds up discovering that he is not the only person to possess his gift of seeing the evil within a person's soul manifested as rot and decay eating away at their bodies.  There is also more conflict with Mr. Dark, the ancient and demonic entity who torments Matt on his adventures.  We are given glimpses of more layers beneath other layers; the plots of the DEAD MAN stories continue to shed light on something much more elaborate, perhaps even epic, taking place with Matt caught in the middle having far more questions than answers.

The DEAD MAN series has gone on for some months now, with several more books on the way, and it is in no danger of growing stale.  In fact, with each new author comes a new perspective, a new lens through which we are viewing this twisted world.  While The Dead Woman doesn't have the jaw-dropping gratuity of Ring of Knives or the brutal violence of Hell in Heaven, there is found in The Dead Woman one of the more well-developed and interesting secondary characters thus far, and I hope this isn't the last time Matt runs into this character again.  Maintaining each of the DEAD MAN stories as its own complete episode, while at the same time drawing out an overarching plot that pulls us along, this series has legs enough to carry us through for many more installments to come.

No comments: