Saturday, September 7, 2013

ARC Review: Death Never Sleeps by E. J. Simon

Death Never Sleeps
Author: E. J. Simon
Publication: (July 19, 2013)


The problem with Alex Nicholas is that he won't stay dead.
Alex Nicholas was the consummate Queens bookie: fast cars and even faster women, and friends in all the wrong places. As an illegal sports betting and loan shark king in New York City, Alex was fearless-until the night his luck ran out and someone leveled the silver barrel of an automatic on him and pulled the trigger.
Michael Nicholas was everything his brother Alex was not: a powerful, married straight-arrow corporate CEO living the American Dream. Their two worlds collide when Michael discovers his brother's secret laptop.
As Michael crosses the globe to find his brother's murder, can he avoid his brother's fate? And can the information contained in the laptop help Alex reach out to help Michael-from beyond the grave.

My Thoughts: Michael Nicholas's life changes immensely when his older brother Alex is killed and Michael has to settle his estate and, maybe, figure out who killed him. The brothers weren't close as adults. Alex was a bookie and loan shark while Micheal was the CEO of a Fortune 500 company. Between Alex's wives - two ex and one current - and the people who owed him money, Michael has a host of suspects. Things get even more complicated when he has to deal with a mobster named Sharkey who wants the $750 thousand Alex owed him. 

As a mystery, I thought this story worked fine. I had problems with the other main focus of the book. Alex has a tricked out Mac computer with a bunch of artificial intelligence programs which let him live on after death. The programs had him learning and changing too. Once Michael finds the laptop with the programs, Alex acts as an adviser to Michael and Alex also manages to save the day in the nick of time at a few crucial plot points in the story. The whole idea of whether or not Alex had managed to defeat death was hard to understand both for Michael and this reader.

The writing in the story was competent but not very polished. It is, and reads like, a first novel. Some of the dialog is stilted and there wasn't enough character development for me. I would recommend this book to readers who are curious about the implications of artificial intelligence.

Favorite Quote:
"Here's the thing. I don't know if you know any of this already, but Alex had this obsession with living forever. He never believed in that stuff like where they froze Ted William's body."
This was an unsolicited review copy. You can buy your copy here.

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