Tuesday, February 15, 2022

Book & Audio Review: Play Dead by Anne Frasier

Play Dead

Anne Frasier
Narrator: Natalie Ross
Series: Elise Sandburg (Book 1)
Publication: Thomas & Mercer (February 25, 2014); Brilliance Audio (April 8, 2014)
Length: 370 p.; 9 hours and 43 minutes

Description: No one is more familiar with Savannah's dark side than homicide detective and native resident Elise Sandburg. She's been haunted for years by her own mysterious past: She was abandoned as a baby in one of the city's ancient cemeteries, and it’s rumored that she is the illegitimate daughter of an infamous Savannah witch doctor. The local Gullah culture of voodoo and magic is one that few outsiders can understand, least of all Elise’s new partner. Now someone is terrorizing the city, creating real-life zombies by poisoning victims into a conscious paralysis that mimics death. As the chilling case unfolds, Elise is drawn back into the haunted past she's tried so hard to leave behind.

My Thoughts: David Gould is Savannah Homicide Detective Elise Sandburg's new partner. He's former FBI and is on the run from a personal tragedy; his ex-wife drowned their son in the bathtub so that her new boyfriend would accept her. Now, she's in prison and David is trying to build his life in Savannah and deal with his grief. He's been under psychiatric care and on drugs which are having a effect on his job performance.

Elise Sandburg is a Savannah native who was found abandoned as an infant in one of Savannah's many cemeteries. She has always believed that her father was a noted conjure man. She played a bit with magic when she was a teen but has now settled in as a homicide detective. She's divorced and has a thirteen-year-old daughter named Audrey who prefers to live with her father and stepmother. 

The latest case the pair are working on has to do with bodies sent to the morgue who aren't actually dead. There's a new drug called TTX that mimics death. However, superstitious Savannah is spreading rumors of zombies. Since a number of the victims are associated with Black Tupelo - an "escort service" run by a Gullah woman named Strata Luna who is known for her own conjuring, the rumor is flourishing.

Elise and David are looking for a more realistic reason for the deaths but find themselves getting more involved than is probably good for them with Strata Luna and the magical parts of Savannah.

I enjoyed the plot of this story. The characters were also intriguing people. I loved the setting and the magical elements. The narrator did a great job with the voices and accents. 

Favorite Quote:
A guy had to be careful about creating his own reality. Because you could get lost in it, so lost that it was hard to get back to the real world.
I bought the Kindle September 2, 2018, and the audiobook January 4, 2022. You can buy your copy here.

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