Friday, May 24, 2013

Rosy's scrawled book recommendation: Don of the Dead by Casey Daniels

Don of the Dead
Casey Daniels

She sees dead people
Beautiful, smart, and chic, Pepper Martin never had to work a day in her life -- until her surgeon daddy was convicted of fraud, her wealthy fiance took a powder, and the family fortune ran bone dry.
Suddenly desperate, the inexperienced ex-rich girl was forced to take the only job she could get: as a tour guide in a cemetery. But a grave situation took a turn for the worse when a head-on collision with a headstone left her with an unwanted ability to communicate with the disgruntled deceased . . . and now Pepper has a whacked Mafia don demanding that she hunt down his killers -- and threatening to haunt her until she does.



Rosy's scrawlings on Don of the Dead
This book is the first of many in a series called the Pepper Martin series. Pepper Martin is an unlikely heroine, at least as was prior to hitting her head. She's spoilt and expects much in life to go her way without issue and when her life begins to crumble around her she doesn't react well, except for having the gumption to go get a job. Unfortunately and fortunately, depending on your perspective, she takes a job in a cemetery and during the first tour she trips and smacks her head against a headstone. Afterwards she begins to see things, which, as has happened to many a fictional character besides her, turns out to be ghosts. Well, the Don Gus Scarpetti, to be specific. You're probably thinking that here goes another "I see dead people" story for which even The Sixth Sense was a the latest of far too many. But you'd be discounting the more entertaining aspects of Don Of The Dead. This book isn't one to read for the "I see dead people" mystery but rather the "who killed dead person mystery and revenge plot".
Pepper Martin doesn't become your average clairvoyant. Instead she sets out to investigate the ghost who haunts her and even tries to help him solve his murder. She starts out doing this solely to get rid of the pesky ghost and rejects her interest in the case all the way but soon finds herself rather capable, in a clumsy way, at all things investigations. Using the information she can obtain through cemetery records she starts out uncovering the twisted life and times of the Family. Pepper remains spoilt, self-absorbed and expectant throughout, only beginning to see beyond her own concerns at the end of the story. But if this turns you off reading further you will have thrown away you chance at seeing Pepper grow into a far more interesting character.
Don Of The Dead is mostly about change, growth and coming to terms with that which has been taken by force. Sometimes this means revenge and sometimes showing up the one who left you. Either way, to move on both Gus and Pepper have to come to terms with all that's happened to them, their own faults and flaws and to discover just what they really want. It is for this road of discovery and growth that Pepper is an interesting heroine and worth reading.

I'd recommend this book to: women mostly but otherwise those who love investigations, ghost stories and characters with a lot of flaws.

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