Saturday, January 10, 2009

2009 Book 2: Running with the Dead

Book #:114

Book Title:Running with the Dead

Author:Jay Brandon

Publisher:Tomo Doherty Associates

Pub. Date:2005


Started:January 7, 2009

Finished:January 10, 2009

Time to Read:4 Days

Back Cover / Inside Flap:"Chris Sinclair is haunted by ghosts: the ghost of Malachi Reese, a murderer whom Chris put on death row, and the ghost of Henry Claremont, a dedicated high-school teacher whom Chris defended when Henry was accused of sexually abusing a student.

Reese is still alive and in prison, but he's petitioned for a new trial, claiming that someone else who looks uncannily like him actually committed the crimes for which he was convicted. Henry is dead, brutally killed less than a week after Chris won his acquittal. Four years later, H. R. "Hike" Grimason, then the school's varsity basketball coach and now deputy superintendent of the school district, is on trial for his murder. Grimason and Henry become adversaries when Henry accused Grimason of taking bribes from parents in return for giving their sons more playing time. Recently, evidence has come to light linking Hike to Henry's murder.

Chris has vowed to secure justice for his departed friend, but it won't be easy. A key witness at Henry's original trial, a woman who revealed her affair with the teacher to save him, lost both her job and her family as a result of her testimony. Now she is unwilling to relive the pain of the first trial, and Grimason has intimidated other witnesses who might testify against him.

Chris won't back down in the face of Grimason's tactics - or those of his defense attorney, a former judge with whom Sinclair has a history. Worse yet, the specter of Malachi Reese won't leave him to prosecute one trial at a time. Because Reese - or his doppelganger - has targeted Chris and his daughter, Clarissa, with murderous attacks."


Review:I understand why authors use a variety of layers in novels - tying story lines together sometimes makes for an interesting read, and the intertwined tales can help advance an outcome that might otherwise be considered reaching.

In this case, the multiple layers just don't work. It's like Brandon has five different novels he's dying to write, but they all ended up mashed together in this one story. Despite fairly distinctive names, I still had a hard time remember which characters were in which part of the story. And while I do at times like paranormal aspects in stories, I decidedly did not in this case.

If I could have read each of the story lines in this novel separately, I would have enjoyed it far more. It's not a total loss - Brandon has a flair with words - but I'm probably not going to run out to buy more of his work quite yet.

If you have read or are planning to read this book, please make sure to stop back by and leave me a comment to let me know your own thoughts!

From my library to yours,


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