Friday, May 01, 2009

"The Dead Man" By Joel Goldman Published 2009 by Pinnacle Books

"The Dead Man"
By Joel Goldman
Published 2009 by Pinnacle Books

So do you love a good thriller/whodunit? Here's the book for you, "The Dead Man" By Joel Goldman. Jack Davis is a former FBI agent who was forced to early retirement due to his condition. As Jack says, "I shake, that's what I do." Jack's last case in the FBI was investigating the death of his daughter, a drug addict that stole a few million dollars in a drug sting. After her death the FBI is convinced that Jack now has that money. Now Jack has a mysterious ailment that causes his body to shake, or experience tics, not unlike Tourette's Syndrome, however after all the tests no one can explain the cause of these tics.

This book grabbed me from the beginning with it's reference to the story of the Clutter family murder in Kansas, as told in the great book by Truman Capote, "In Cold Blood." The prologue tells of a young girl who is found by a family member whose parents have just been murdered in rural Kansas in 1959. The murderer is never found and the case is never solved.

Jump to today in Kansas City where Milo Harper is the millionaire funding a company researching dreams, to be more exact nightmares. The idea behind the research is to teach Lucid Dreaming to the people experiencing nightmares so they may rid themselves of these nightmares. When two of the test subjects are found dead, having died exactly like their nightmares, Harper is sued by one of the families and he hires Jack Davis to find out how and why these people died.

In a case that not only brings back Jack's nightmares, but also stirs up some ghosts from Jack's past, the reader is thrust into a thriller that cannot be put down. Not only is Jack Davis up against trying to find a killer before they kill again, but the FBI wants Jack for the missing money and one of the bodies that turns up is a mailman that has been stealing mail. The man is found with an open envelope to Jack from his dead daughter.

Aside from being a great thriller and a whirlwind crime-solving adventure this book takes place in one of my favorite cities, Kansas City (Missouri and Kansas). As a former native of KC, I still have a fondness for the town and when the author, Joel Goldman, writes about moving around the city to solve the crimes I could follow perfectly what area he was in. In fact it was fun to even break out a map and map the adventures. Goldman is an attorney in KC and writes a great thriller that puts Kansas City on the literary map.

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