Death Notice is the second of the two books I read for my Goodreads february book group. It’s another indie/self-pub and so I’ve decided to read through my current set of indies (which number about 6 or 7 at the moment). So expect to see some more soon.
Death Notice takes place in a small town with virtually no crime. The local cop is a single mum who at the beginning of the book considers it a big day when she has to investigate a van stolen from the local florist. In a back room in the offices of the town newspaper works a man called Henry who writes obituaries. He receives the “death notices” (name, date, time and place of death) from the local funeral homes when someone dies, so he’s not surprised when he receives a fax one day with the notice for a local farmer. Not until that is he finds out it was sent before the man died.
I really enjoyed this book. It had its weaknesses – the prose itself was pretty flat and uninteresting and the dialogue was ok but either very matter of fact or cliched. However the book did manage to create characters that I cared about and was interested in, and what it really did well was plot. The plot was put together with immaculate precision. It had just the right amount of twists and turns, lulls and surprises. It’s possible that the ending might not work for some people on a purely plausibility level – there’s a question of medical possibilities shall we say – but honestly I was more than prepared to give the book the benefit of the doubt and go with the story.
I’d say if you like crime thrillers and you’re not afraid of a bit of gore (the killings are nasty) then this is quite a lot of fun.
7/10 – a read if you like a good story with strong characters and don’t mind a bit of blood.