Book Review: Let the Dead Sleep by Heather Graham

Let the dead sleep HeaderLet the Dead Sleep has the potential to be the first in a new series on my to read list, but it still has a lot of work ahead of it to become the perfect blend of Angel (before they screwed it up) and Castle I was hoping for.

Speaking of Angel, Let the Dead Sleep is also inspired by the world of the supernatural, though it sticks to the shallow end of the spectrum.  At least for now.  Something more “outlandish” could come in books down the road for this Cafferty and Quinn series.  For now, Danni Cafferty is just discovering that ghosts might exist after a partner of her late father shows up in her shop.  It’s not the easiest thing to accept, but eventually there is just too much to keep denying the possibility of the paranormal.  Doesn’t hurt that the man trying to sway her just so happens to be quite the catch.

Let the Dead Sleep takes the expected route when two attractive people are forced to work together. First Danni and Michael Quinn bicker and get on each others’ nerves as Danni has trouble accepting this new reality, though you can’t really blame her considering everyone is too busy being irritated with how ill prepared she is to step into shoes she didn’t even know existed. Maybe had someone, say her father’s assistant Billy, just sat down and explained everything to her, or at the very least opened her eyes to the possibility of what could be out there, things could have moved along a little more smoothly, but no.

Eventually we do get past this initial difficulty, but I still have a few problems with the writing.  There were your typical sentences like: “Quinn felt a savage fury that these men sought to dispense death as if human life meant nothing.”  I know a detective probably has a thing against murderers, but this sentence… Oh goodness…  It’s not just Quinn’s inner monologue that breaks into “profound thoughts” as Danni also gives us the joy of reading things like this: “There was something in his tone that touched her soul.”  Maybe if this was a Nicholas Sparks novel I would give it a pass, but these attempts at romantic inclinations in what I expected to be paranormally driven novel with an emphasis on horror had me rolling my eyes.  Granted I will say this is probably just my fault for expecting something a little different having no prior experience with Graham’s writing.

Even if it became a challenge to keep my eyes on the page with all the rolling, Let the Dead Sleep is still a quick read worth spending some time with because of the potential for stories down the road, especially now that the initial “origin story” is out of the way.  Graham may need to work a little bit on her overall story structure though.  For starters, maybe include some build up to a plot twist so that the reveal  seems natural and believable, instead of forced just to keep the plot points moving.  Secondly, like with toilet use, you don’t need to include every single time a person showers.  Just assume that we know these people have basic habits when it comes to hygiene.  Oh, and one more thing.  Look up your character names before choosing them, such as Leroy Jenkins.  All the nerds will get a laugh with that one.

Let the Dead Sleep may be a rougher beginning than I would prefer, but I’m far from giving up on the story quite so soon.

Final Grade: 3 out of 5     Follow @BewareOfTrees

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