No rest for this reader

No Rest for the Dead

 

Edited by Andrew F. Gulli and Lamia Gulli.

Published 2011, Simon and Schuster.

 

 

No Rest for the Dead should actually be called No Rest for the Reader, because it is impossible to put this book down.

It’s been a while since I’ve read a crime thriller, and I’m so glad this was the one to break the drought. What attracted me to this book was the fact that it has twenty-six different authors. And not just any authors – these are the elite wordsmiths of the suspense thriller genre, including Jeffrey Deaver, Kathy Reichs, Raymond Khoury and Faye Kellerman.

Compiling a book with a single plot and asking such a large number of established authors to write just one or two chapters each is a huge and daring undertaking. It could be a recipe for disaster – just imagine the ego issues!  Given that this book is a crime thriller with complexity of story, characters, clues and twists, the potential for catastrophe just magnifies.

But this book is fabulous! Brother and sister team Andre and Lamia Gulli have managed to create something special. Maybe it’s because each author had just one or two chapters to write. Maybe it was the peer pressure amongst writers, stirring a desire to submit the cleanest and sharpest submission possible.  Whatever the reason, the writing in this book is superb. There are no lulls and no eyes skimming over the boring bits. There is just tight, polished writing which moves the plot along at breakneck speed.

The story revolves around the murder of Christopher Thomas, curator of the Museum of Fine Arts. His wife Rosemary is tried, convicted and executed for his murder. Ten years on, the detective who cracked the case, Jon Nunn, is convinced he made a mistake. He is wracked with guilt as it was his testimony which essentially convicted Rosemary. He embarks on a mission to track down all the suspects and uncover the truth.

This is a true page turner – on steroids. In the foreword David Baldacci promises the reader that they will be surprised by the denouement, as “it’s a twist that is so original you won’t have to concern yourself with bragging on your blog about how you figured it all out long before the conclusion”.  He’s right. It is original, and no, I can’t brag.

No Rest for the Dead is one of those books that you race to read, and then regret having finished so quickly. It would appeal to many readers, from teens who enjoy crime fiction to your great grandma.

Make sure you pack this one for your next holiday.

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