by Lisa Lutz and David Hayward
G.P. Putnam's Son (Penguin)
Buy from Indigo
Description: An innovative and hilarious new crime novel written collaboratively. The formula is simple: the authors write alternating chapters, each one picking up where the other has left off.
The novel stars Paul and Lacey Hansen, a pair of orphaned, pot-growing, 20-something siblings eking out a living in rural northern California. They each dream of escaping Mercer, with varying degrees of vigor. But when a headless corpse shows up on their property late one night, they obviously can't call the police. They move the corpse as surreptitiously as possible (utilizing skills learned on CSI), and wait for some good samaritan to find it. When the corpse instead reappears -- a few days riper -- on their doorstep, the Hansens realize they might be in over their heads.
Meanwhile, a puzzlingly handsome and urbane young doctor from San Francisco suddenly replaces the old town doctor under a cloak of darkness; something fishier than usual is happening at the local retirement home; and a private plane crashes inexplicably, and area residents flocking to the scene. The Mercer Police Department clearly has its hands full. So when, on second look, the corpse is revealed as Lacey's ex-fiancée, she can't help but launch her own investigation.
Lutz, a New York Times bestselling crime writer, just wants to tell a good story. Hayward, an obscure former poet (and Lisa’s ex-boyfriend) has loftier ambitions. When the collaborators start to disagree about how the story should unfold, Mercer's body count starts climbing, and potential victims—and prime suspects—keep coming out of the woodwork. They include Brandy, Paul’s stripper-genius fiancée, grizzled local sage Terry Jakes, and Sook Felton, a senior citizen who makes ends meet by selling the Hansen’s product to the staff of the assisted-living facility where he lives. Things take a serious turn when Lacey and Paul discover that the key to the murders might be tied to their parents’ “accidental” death a decade earlier. Soon both Hansens are doing independent investigations with perilous consequences.
And with the authors’ own turbulent past seeping into the plot, in the end, the biggest mystery might be how they’ll solve the murder without killing each other first
The Good Stuff
- One of the most truly unique ideas for a book
- Unusual and quirky storyline
- Love the notes from each of the author's after each chapter
- Tons of twists and turns, you really have no idea what is going to happen next
- Hilarious dialogue
- Overly quirky at times and it was like they were trying to hard for this
- At times I thought the gimmicky idea for the authors letters back and forth saved a less than stellar and convoluted story - smart really
- Honestly I just expected a better story or at least more byplay between the authors
- A little too mean spirited byplay between the authors at times
"A quick note for your next chapter: Sometimes your vocabulary feels a little high-end for this kind of book. It would be great if I didn't have to Google as I read."
"You forget where you left your keys, that cup of coffee you were drinking earlier, but you remember things like where you dumped a headless body in the middle of the night."
"I bought you into this endeavor to improve it, not sabotage it. I just know James Patterson doesn't have to put up with this shit."
What I Learned
- I'm intrigued enough to want to read The Spellman Files
- Those who like things a little bit different
I received this from Penguin in exchange for an honest review