Thursday, August 9, 2012

Book Review: Dead Ringer by Allen Wyler

Dead Ringer
Author: Allen Wyler
Publication: Astor + Blue Editions (June 26, 2012)

Description: While speaking at a Hong Kong medical conference, neurosurgeon Dr. Lucas McCrae slips the cloth off a cadaver’s head during a routine medical demonstration, and is overwhelmed with the shock by what’s staring back at him: His best friend, Andy Baer.

Stunned, McCrae races back to Seattle to discover that Andy is in fact missing and may have been murdered by a gang of body snatchers who operate a legit funeral business and make a fortune by selling recovered body parts to medical researchers.

McCrae teams up with an unlikely pair—a beautiful but hardnosed female cop and a gang member whose family was victimized by the body parts ring—to try and expose a macabre web of corruption that involves law enforcement, politicians, funeral home curators and murdered prostitutes.

Internationally renowned neurosurgeon Allen Wyler takes us deep into a nightmarish scenario, shockingly ripped from recent headlines, and delivers a horrifically plausible, page-turning thriller.

My Thoughts: This was a very engaging and readable mystery. It begins with neurosurgeon Lucas McCrae doing a demonstration in Hong Kong and seeing that the head he is using is that of his best friend Andy. He can't believe that this is possible and the man who brought the heads from Seattle insists that it is not his friend. When Lucas gets home, he immediately begins trying to contact Andy with no success. Andy doesn't have anyone else to care about him. Lucas' wife hates him, his ex-wife hates him, his employers are on the verge of firing him because of his sex addiction. Only Lucas cares.

Meanwhile, Sergeant Wendy Elliott of the Seattle Police Department is looking for a friend who has disappeared. The friend was a hooker that Wendy met while she was working Vice. Her only clue is a partial license plate of a black Suburban that was near where Lupita disappeared. The Suburban is owned by Ditto's Funeral Homes Inc. owned by Bobby Ditto. Ditto is also the largest supplier of anatomical parts on the West Coast. When Wendy interviews him she knows he is lying but doesn't know what he is lying about. 

Lucas also finds his way to Ditto's Funeral Homes when he learns that they supplied the heads for the demonstration in Hong Kong. Bobby tries to convince him that he is mistaken and has all sorts of paperwork to prove it. When Lucas files a missing person report the two cases come together and so do Lucas and Wendy. Lucas is agonizing over a failing marriage. He and his wife no longer have anything in common. Lucas wants to try to save the marriage but she isn't interested in couple's counseling or dealing with her depression. When he meets Wendy, he is attracted to her as she is to him. 

Bobby Ditto is a really creepy villain. He manages to justify his body snatching and murder as a kind of recycling. He is one of those scary villains who seem really sane but are completely out of touch with reality and any sort of morality. His henchman Leo Gerhard is his willing accomplice in the murders and is equally immoral. 

Following along as Lucas and Wendy try to prove that Bobby Ditto had something to do with the disappearance of his and her friends was entertaining. Mystery lovers will enjoy this fast-paced story with an engaging hero and heroine. This was not so much a "whodunnit?" but was definitely a "how to we prove it?" sort of story.

Favorite Quote:
She seems to enjoy hearing about his business, so he continues with, "Med schools use bodies mostly to teach normal anatomy, so they're very picky about  what they accept."

She flashes him a get-serious-look.

"I'm serious. Check out the UW's website. It's all there. We won't take your body if you have diseases like hepatitis, HIV, or obesity. On and on. Damn ridiculous, if you ask me. Obesity? Hell, bring it on! A fatty has more skin than a skinny macrobiotic. And there was nothing wrong with a fatty's ligaments, bones, or hair either. Why waste any of it? What we do is recycling at its best."
I received this ebook from Lauren at Blue Dot. You can buy a copy here.

No comments:

Post a Comment

I love getting comments. Let me know what you think.

This blog is now officially declared an Award Free zone! I do appreciate your kindness in thinking of me and I am humbled by your generosity.

Your comments are award enough for me. Comment away!