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I live in Bristol UK literary fiction and crime are my books of choice and when not reading I like to run

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Cliche-ridden tale of nonsense

Speak the Dead by Grant McKenzie (2015-10-01) - Grant McKenzie

Jersey Castle, tough homicide detective, called to the scene of a RTA where it would appear the husband has driven over his partner and a little later commits suicide. Salvation Blue, or Sally as she prefers (thank goodness!) is also present at the accident and has the uncanny gift of seeing events unfold through the eyes of the victim...she is the "Seer". Sally has been working peacefully as a morticians beautician for the last 25 years, aware of her turbulent childhood, and haunted by her dead mother's last words...Run Sally Run! There is a connection between Sally and the Church of a Sabbath Day's Journey. Aedan, dutiful husband, has finally found her and determined to return Sally to her rightful position in the church as the Seer of Visions....."I'm Aedan. Your husband." It took Sally a moment to adjust to the news. "Husband?" Aedan nodded. "That is why I never gave up looking for you. It was my duty."....


Jersey together with the beautiful Kameela..."A tall strikingly handsome woman with skin the color of bittersweet chocolate and curly hair so short it could have been a woolen skullcap" immediately leave in search of Sally (it would appear that on first meeting Jersey was instantly smitten!)


I found this story somewhere between a B movie and a badly written made for tv series, with the stories, descriptions, characters and eventual outcome laughable. Look at this paragraph on Jersey's first encounter with Kameeela..."untouchable runway model-all pouty lips and attitude-or a disemboweling Zulu warrior. Either way, she made him nervous. Perhaps sensing his anxiety the woman opened her lips to revel a blinding and utterly captivating smile. A bright pink tongue followed as she plucked a flake of tobacco off its tip." There is a final scene where a group of bike driving nuns, a cross between hells angels and ninja warriors, (are we serious!) attempt to make a forced entrance at the church's stronghold....Sister Mary Theresa turned to her pack of nuns and quickly gave instructions. Instantly, two nuns broke right and two went left. Each pair glided their bikes silently away from the gate until they reached the far side of the two homes. Hidden from view of anyone looking out, the nuns propped their sturdy machines against the eight-foot stone wall. As Jersey watched, the ninja-black nuns, hopped onto their saddles, stood up tall, and scrambled over the wall. One half of each pair carried a lariat, the other, a shotgun. The maneuver was so perfectly executed, Jersey wondered if the Mission of the Immaculate Heart had been recruiting women from the Navy Seals." At his stage in the story I would not have been surprised if that all American hero Audie Murpy together with his trusty sidekick John Wayne had made a dramatic entrance to aid those ninja warrior nuns!!


Some months ago I read The Butcher's Son by Grant Mckenzie and really enjoyed describing him as an exciting new name in the thriller genre. Unfortunately "Speak the Dead" has proved to be a cliché ridden tale of nonsense, superhero hollow characters with egos to match, and a storyline silly in the extreme. I received a copy of this book from the good people at edelweiss for a fair and honest review and that is what I have written.