Dead Is Better – Jo Perry
Charles Stone has just woken up dead. Well he’s pretty sure he’s dead, what with the bullet holes in his chest and all. He also appears to be totally alone in the after-life except for the ghostly dog who seems to be his new companion.
Unable to interact with the world of the living other than watching and listening, he and the dead dog (whom he names Rose) have nothing to do and all the time in the world to do it.
When Charles and Rose try to unravel the circumstances of Charles’s death, they uncover a criminal who is raking in millions of dollars by cruelly exploiting, and sometimes killing, his victims.
But what difference can a ghost make?
And what does the damn dog have to do with any of this?
I love dogs, there are too many cats on the internet…dogs are 100 times better (at least). Look at the cover of Dead Is Better – see that paw print? That’s a love heart with toes – gimme dogs every time.
But in Dead is Better the dog (Rose) is dead. Not the best way to win me over Jo Perry! However, all is not lost as even in death Rose the dog has become one of my favourite characters this year.
Rose is keeping recently deceased Charles Stone company in the afterlife. Well I say afterlife, they are still hanging around Charles’s old haunts (terrible pun) and it seems Charles has some unfinished business to attend to. But how can he put things to right when he is dead? Well not very easily is the simple answer and frequently during Dead is Better we will see Charles getting massively frustrated that he has no way to interact with those that are left behind.
Charles leaves an odious brother, several ex-wives and with hindsight he starts to question how he chose to live his life. Rose, meanwhile, seems hell bent on getting Charles to visit a hospital. Something or someone in the hospital means a lot to Rose, enough that she will guide/lead/bully Charles back to the same places over and over again – unfortunately for Rose, Charles is not the quickest at understanding what she is hoping to achieve.
Dead is Better is a buddy story, two strangers thrust together in death seeking justice. Yes it sounds a bit odd but I loved this story and as soon as I finished it I had bought Dead is Best (Charlie and Rose book 2). Jo Perry has crafted a very clever story here and I cannot wait to see where it may lead. Chapters are short enough to make it a nice one for the commute – the story trips along with several laugh out loud scenes. Equally there are some upsetting moments (the book is about a dead guy and a dead dog – some sadness must happen) those scenes were less fun to read but wonderfully evocative. One of the trips that Rose takes Charles on was particularly upsetting…nuff said there.
In short – this is memorable, fun and one that you absolutely should consider if you are looking for something new to try.
Dead is Better is published by Fahrenheit Press and you can get a copy here: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Dead-Better-Charlie-Rose-Investigate-ebook/dp/B01BNG5KH2/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1468880239&sr=8-1&keywords=dead+is+better