23 June 2013

Review: Deadbeat - Makes You Stronger

Deadbeat - Makes You Stronger
Deadbeat - Makes You Stronger by Guy Adams

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Probably closer to a 3.5.

Having read a good number of books from Titan Books for a website I write for lately (along with a good number on my own), I've found that Titan does one type of book exceptionally well, and that's the classic-style pulp novel, whether it be a fantasy title or even the crime novels they've been putting out over the last decade. Deadbeat is a new series by screenplay writer and author Guy Adams, and fits that mold perfectly, with a sharp story and interesting premise, while not taking itself too seriously.

The premise on this is a simple one: two guys own a jazz nightclub, and they witness someone stealing a coffin from a nearby churchyard, and they learn that the person in the coffin is still breathing. Even though the two men, Max and Tom, aren't really qualified, they decide to go and investigate anyway. As you can imagine, this doesn't go entirely as planned.

The book works on a few levels: the two main characters are both pretty likable, and the book itself is pretty funny as a result. As an urban fantasy of sorts, it works, but it almost works as a crime novel with fantasy elements even better (right down Titan's alley). There are also a few unexpected curveballs throughout the book that I didn't see coming and don't want to spoil here. It definitely makes the book very different than what I had initially expected.

This isn't to say the book is without flaws, however. The timeline/chronology of the book does get muddled from time to time, especially when it comes down to some of the bigger reveals. It got a little confusing at that point. Also, with the book being a bit of a mashup between genres, it doesn't quite commit to one or the other, which is often okay for a debut novel, but, knowing a follow-up is imminent, might be a little problematic going forward given what's been established.

Overall, a solid read and an interesting start for a new series.

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