Dead Star Island – Andrew Shantos
Sixteen superstars the world thinks are dead. One killer, determined to finish the job…Somewhere in the Indonesian archipelago is a tropical island paradise with some very unusual residents…Elvis, Marilyn, Jimi and others have been living for decades in peace and anonymity on Dead Star Island. But someone is murdering them, one by one, in bizarre reconstructions of their previous deaths.
Mario Gunzabo was once Greece’s top detective. Now a one-armed tennis coach living in southeast England, he receives an unexpected call from his old school friend, Christian Adhis, Director of Dead Star Island.Gunzabo is secretly transported to the island, with two simple instructions: First – catch the Deja Vu Killer before he strikes again. Second – don’t get too drunk in the process.
My thanks to Katy Weitz and APP for a review copy.
Sometimes to enjoy a story you have to suspend a degree of belief – Dead Star Island is one you enjoy if you just go with it. I have seen the word ‘trippy’ used when describing the book, certainly many of the characters are tripping in most of their scenes but this is crazy genius.
Imagine some very famous celebs who are all believed dead are actually alive and well and living in blissful seclusion on a remote tropical island. Now imagine a killer is picking them off one by one – their deaths mimicking their ‘original’ death. Now imagine a one armed Greek detective with his pet ferret being brought to the island to catch the killer. Still with me? Good I give you Dead Star Island by Andrew Shantos – all of this and more. One of the more memorable detective stories I have read for many a year.
There are 16 ‘dead’ celebs living on Dead Star Island and there is lots of fun to be had trying to work out exactly who they are. Andrew Shantos teases out details and facts about the island residents to let the reader discover the secrets of the island at the same time as his detective Gunzabo. Indeed most of the details about the island and its inhabitants are slowly revealed as Gunzabo attempts to investigate a murder where witnesses are stoned, drunk, senile or elusive. Much of the time Gunzabo himself is drunk or stoned too.
The island dynamics are a test for Gunzabo, the relationships of these stars and their desire for secrecy hinders any investigative attempts. He also meets resistance from the island Director (the very man who brought him in to solve the murders). Despite the lack of support Gunzabo manages to unravel some of the mysteries of the island and before long a quite sinister prospect seems to be coming to light.
At the heart of Dead Star Island, and once you are past its apparent light-hearted concept, is quite a dark murder tale and a nicely outlined detective story. This book possibly will be a bit too outlandish for everyone’s taste as the concept sounds unusual, however, this is a gem of a story which kept me entertained and slightly perturbed when the motivation of the killer was revealed.
Lots of fun for me while reading Dead Star Island, well worth hunting this one down.