Dead and Not So Buried
Review: Former LAPD detective, now PI to the stars — and those who wannabe — Gideon Kincaid is on the trail of a kidnapper, later a killer dubbed "The Gravesnatcher", in Dead and Not So Buried, the first mystery in this series by James L. Conway.
The culprit — this isn't a spoiler, as it's known from the very beginning — is Roy Cooper, whose dreams of being a Hollywood star are quickly dashed after he foolishly falls head over heels for his co-star in his first major role, a leading lady who also happens to be the love of the film's director David Hunter. Hunter effectively blacklists Cooper from ever working again, and Cooper promises revenge … but in a most dramatic manner. He digs up and steals the bones of a famed starlet, ransoming them back for $2 million, and demanding that Gideon be the go-between. "Who are you?" asks Gideon when the exchange is made. "I am anyone," is his cryptic response. Gideon is determined to track him down, but he soon discovers his ex-wife, an LAPD detective herself, is also on the trail and on his case.
The kidnapping of a skeleton is only the beginning of a series of extraordinary crimes in this often darkly comic mystery. Not a whodunit or a thriller or even a novel of suspense in the classic sense, Dead and Not So Buried is more of a character study of two people, Cooper and Gideon, who are participating in a game of one-upmanship, with ever escalating risk to both. The characters are strongly drawn, and the Hollywood setting offers an exciting backdrop. The one significant drawback to the book is its pervasive strong and crude language, which not only mars this otherwise enjoyable mystery but also seems completely unnecessary within the context of the story, gratuitous to the point of distraction.
Special thanks to guest reviewer Betty of The Betz Review for contributing her review of Dead and Not So Buried.
Acknowledgment: Camel Press provided a copy of Dead and Not So Buried for this review.
Review Copyright © 2012 — Hidden Staircase Mystery Books — All Rights Reserved
Location(s) referenced in Dead and Not So Buried: Hollywood, California
— ♦ —
Dead and Not So Buried by James L. Conway — A Gideon Kincaid Mystery
Publisher: Camel Press
Format: Trade Paperback
Publication Date: February 2012
List Price: $15.95
— ♦ —
Page Author: Lance Wright
Site Publisher: Mysterious Reviews
Mysterious Reviews is a Division of
The Hidden Staircase Mystery Books
and a Business Unit of the
Omnimystery Family of Mystery Websites