“ Genre: Crime / Thriller / Author: William Brown / Edition: 1 / Kindle Edition / Book is published 2011-01-10 by William F. Brown „
Peter Talbott is a widower, who one day after work finds himself with a .45 pistol pointing in his face. It turns out that somebody has been buried under Pete's name - as well as his late wife's...and they're not the only ones. Suddenly, filled with outrage, Pete finds himself thrown from being an ordinary software engineer to being involved in theft, corruption, death, and some downright dodgy dealings. 'The Undertaker' will take you along with Pete on a journey of discovery, into a world of crime that he never thought possible.
Peter is a genuinely nice character. The whole thing is written from his point of view, which makes it really easy to feel close to him. He's clearly just an ordinary guy, stumbling across and getting involved in some pretty extraordinary stuff, so the fact that he has his flaws (such as struggling to get over his wife's death and move on to carry on the rest of his life) makes it all more realistic. He has nothing to lose by following his instincts, and in the way in which Pete feels scared and incredulous, yet compelled to investigate has been conveyed well and believably by Brown.
During his escapades, Pete meets and befriends Sandy, a younger girl who is also involved in the drama. Sandy is an equally likeable character, as she adds a youthful, feminine edge to the story and softens Pete up a bit! She's very feisty, but I personally wouldn't get along with her if she was real, as she's a bit too clingy for my liking! Nevertheless, I like the innocent edge she brings to the proceedings, whilst proving to be rather unexpected at the same time too!
I really enjoyed this story, as it was full of excitement and action, including an explosion, a car chase and a run-in with a gang of youths. It was fast-paced and compelling to read, and several times found myself holding my breath with my heart in my mouth, waiting to see what would happen! It was very intriguing to try and figure out what was really going on, and the fact that the final outcome was plausible in real life is both scary and exciting!
As I say, the story is full of action and this does include some violence. However, it isn't graphic and I doubt anyone could get offended by it. I felt that when it came to the violence, it seemed to be more about the action, and getting across who was pulling which moves or who was firing at who (much like in a film), and less about getting bogged down with grisly, gory, graphic details. As a reader, I neither want nor need to know the painfully drawn out, intricate details of anyone's injuries, so Brown has scored highly in this department by tackling it with respect and care.
The plot itself, although it was a really good one, was a little simple at times. There weren't lots of layers and sub-plots all going on at once, which is something I don't come across too often in books these days. There was nothing overly detailed or complex about it, but this isn't a bad thing! It meant that 'The Undertaker' was a light read, which is sometimes nice if you just want a bit of escapism. If you're the type that prefers intricately entwined plots, then you may feel that this could have benefitted from sub-plot or two extra, to give it more depth. Otherwise, this is a lovely light read.
Around two thirds of the way through, I found that the action waned a bit, and in a lot of other books I would complain that it was dull and that the story dragged. Not in this case! On reflection, this story is so full of excitement, action and intrigue that it was actually nice to have a let up, and to let the dust settle. Far from being dull, the story still kept my interest as the relationship between Pete and Sandy developed. It was during this section that they really got to know each other, and started working as a team, which was a pleasure to read as I had been willing it to happen the whole time! To quote Hannibal Smith, I love it when a plan comes together...!
The only other niggle that I found was that there was Pete and Sandy, a couple of other essential characters, and quite a few others who we never actually meet. It's these last, distant characters, who we only know by name, that I found hard to get my head around. They all have American Italian names, which I found fairly similar to each other - and as there was nothing else that we could use to remind ourselves which name went with which persona, mostly blended into one. I know that it's a feature of the mafia type organisations and underhand groups in America, but it would have been nice to have a few different names in there, to differentiate between them. Either that, or make sure you concentrate when new characters are introduced!
Overall, I did really enjoy this book. It was very entertaining and exciting, but if you're looking for a book with a deep philosophical meaning, this might not be for you. I can thoroughly recommend it if you want a light yet action packed read with loveable characters you can relate to, and a good old fashioned crime story to get your heart going!
William F. Brown has previously published two other suspense novels, as well as having penned four award-winning screenplays. This book, 'The Undertaker' is an ebook and so is only available in electronic formats. A Kindle copy can currently be purchased from Amazon for the bargain price of £2.14, and I think this book is totally worth it!
Many thanks to Mr. Brown for providing a copy for me to review. :)