Wednesday, October 26, 2011
Review: Dead Men Kill
3 Stars - Recommended for readers familiar w/ pulp fiction
Funny story. On the first morning of BEA, as soon as we were given the "go-ahead" to enter the expo floor, as I made my way around the right hand corner of the vendor booths, Galaxy Press stopped me in my tracks and began aggressively pitching me L. Ron Hubbard's books.
Upon hearing the name, I inwardly cringed... "Oh no," I thought to myself, "They are going to try to Scientologize me. Run... run and don't look back!". The woman was incredibly polite and I couldn't find the nerve to be rude that early in the day, so I humored her. After she clarified that these were fictional books with no religious affiliations, we discussed the types of books I enjoy reading and she pointed me towards Dead Men Kill - which, while being incredibly pulpy, at least contained zombies.... Folks, I admit that my curiosity got the best of me and I... I... I stepped on the red carpet. God help me, but I did it! (if you've ever been to BEA, you know what I mean...)
I find pulp fiction to be predictable and generically written, but it can also be quite fun. If you can come to terms with the fact that the writing is a bit dated - my absolute pet peeve with dated literature: using the word "ejaculated" as a term for linguistic excitement / blurting something out - and if you can get past the fact that the covers are incredibly cheesy and gaudy, the few hours you spend reading the books will pass in a rompy, enjoyable blur.
Dead Men Kill is a murder mystery at its core. Executives are turning up dead; all evidence points to strangulation at the hands of their recently deceased secretaries, but how can that be? What is causing the dead to rise? Why are they only attacking their bosses? And is Detective Terry Lane really on the hunt for... zombies?
Of course, it wouldn't be a true cop caper unless the Detective gets tipped off by a saucy, sexy nightclub girl who's got loads of inside information, and is dragged unwittingly into a dark and twisted plot that may or may not have anything to do with a lone receipt from a pharmacy in Haiti. And wouldntcha know it, Dead Men Kill has exactly those sort of ingredients!
If you're looking for a quick, fun, easy-to-swallow read that leaves no question unanswered, this is your book. L. Ron Hubbard must not be a fan of "cliff hangers" or of leaving stories open for potential sequels cause he was quick to solve this mystery and file it away in the drawer forever.