Official Review: They Do That for the Dead by Alan M. Blank

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Official Review: They Do That for the Dead by Alan M. Blank

Post by Helen_Combe » 15 Jun 2018, 07:51

[Following is an official OnlineBookClub.org review of "They Do That for the Dead" by Alan M. Blank.]
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4 out of 4 stars
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They Do That for the Dead by Alan M. Blank is the sequel to Trouble in Bay Town, but it stands up perfectly well as an individual novel. Sonny Knight is a 1940s style gumshoe who operates in the modern world but refuses to use a computer and always ‘forgets’ to carry his cell phone. Nevertheless, he is remarkably successful and is used regularly by the police to help in their investigations.

Trent Simmons, an employee at Town Hall, is rushed to hospital after receiving a severe beating. When asked to identify his attacker, he points to the TV where Stelton Pike, the most influential man in Bay Town, is being interviewed. Later, Sonny is approached by Ruby Redstone who wants him to pull some strings so that she can gain access to her late brother’s safety deposit box. She is dressed in mourning, but her grief is belied by her bright-red shoes. Sonny smells a rat and is subsequently embroiled in murders and mysteries galore.

As well as being an exciting and well-written story, the book is further enhanced by the author’s sense of humour. Make sure you always read his disclaimers at the start, they are a hoot. Also, look out for nods to classic detective authors. Additionally, I love his Panama hat which is basically a fedora, à la Sam Spade, that is made out of straw.

I thoroughly enjoyed the first book but found it a little light on complexity. This book has upped the ante. The story is more convoluted and a little grittier than the first. Sonny is an all-round nice guy, devoted to his girlfriend, Brooke Lynne Lane, and to his secretary, Cookie, though in a different way. Nevertheless, he’s no wimp; he is a staunch defender of minorities and victims, and sometimes weighs in with his fists when the need is just.

There were some unexpected twists and a satisfying flourish at the end. My only criticism is that I found some of the clues to be rather obvious. I spent much of the book yelling the identity of the attacker and howling the location of the ill-gotten gains. Having said that, it’s not terribly important as there are plenty of other strings to this bow. Some crime books are like a plane journey where it’s simply a race to get to the destination. Blank’s books are more of a fairground ride where the best bit is in the middle where you loop the loop and do a face-plant into your ice cream. When you step off at the end, you immediately want to buy another ticket so you can get back on again.

The book is professionally edited and I found only one grammatical error; ‘slight of hand’ was used instead of ‘sleight of hand’. Altogether, I thoroughly recommend this book. It will be enjoyed by people who like the classic detectives and an easy to read, humorous page-turner. I rate this book 4 out of 4 stars.

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They Do That for the Dead
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Post by gen_g » 16 Jun 2018, 23:25

Thanks for the informative review as always! It sounds like a read chockful of adrenaline, although it’s a pity about the obvious clues and identities.

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Post by Helen_Combe » 17 Jun 2018, 02:28

gen_g wrote:
16 Jun 2018, 23:25
Thanks for the informative review as always! It sounds like a read chockful of adrenaline, although it’s a pity about the obvious clues and identities.
Thank you :D
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Post by Bianka Walter » 17 Jun 2018, 04:00

This author sounds great. I'm sure he's fast becoming one of your favourites :) Please share the disclaimer - I'm dying to know what this one says!
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Post by JR Mercier » 17 Jun 2018, 04:02

"Blank’s books are more of a fairground ride where the best bit is in the middle where you loop the loop and do a face-plant into your ice cream."
I honestly love this! :lol: I was cracking up.
Great review! You know just how to put it. :tiphat:
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Post by Helen_Combe » 17 Jun 2018, 05:35

Bianka Walter wrote:
17 Jun 2018, 04:00
This author sounds great. I'm sure he's fast becoming one of your favourites :) Please share the disclaimer - I'm dying to know what this one says!
He is a favourite of mine. I’m looking forward to his next one.
The disclaimer was something like ’all the characters in this book are fictional and bear no similarity to anyone living or dead, except the boy being beaten up on his birthday. That was me.’
Thanks for posting. :tiphat:
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Post by Helen_Combe » 17 Jun 2018, 05:36

JR Mercier wrote:
17 Jun 2018, 04:02
"Blank’s books are more of a fairground ride where the best bit is in the middle where you loop the loop and do a face-plant into your ice cream."
I honestly love this! :lol: I was cracking up.
Great review! You know just how to put it. :tiphat:
Thank you very much :D
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Post by ParadoxicalWoman » 17 Jun 2018, 06:52

Interesting, another book to be read by this author.
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Post by Helen_Combe » 17 Jun 2018, 07:23

ParadoxicalWoman wrote:
17 Jun 2018, 06:52
Interesting, another book to be read by this author.
Indeed, thanks for posting.
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Post by bookowlie » 17 Jun 2018, 08:26

Great review! I like your subtle description of the previous installment - "a little light on complexity." :) I don't think this book is for me as I prefer clues to be less obvious. Glad you enjoyed the book, especially the funny parts!
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Post by Helen_Combe » 17 Jun 2018, 11:34

bookowlie wrote:
17 Jun 2018, 08:26
Great review! I like your subtle description of the previous installment - "a little light on complexity." :) I don't think this book is for me as I prefer clues to be less obvious. Glad you enjoyed the book, especially the funny parts!
Thank you :tiphat:
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Post by Dael Reader » 17 Jun 2018, 13:35

I generally like the kind of story that keeps me guessing, rather then giving away the answers as you seem to suggest here. But this sounds like a fun read. And I thought it was interesting that you think this sequel is even better than the first installment. That rarely happens.

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Post by Helen_Combe » 17 Jun 2018, 13:43

Dael Reader wrote:
17 Jun 2018, 13:35
I generally like the kind of story that keeps me guessing, rather then giving away the answers as you seem to suggest here. But this sounds like a fun read. And I thought it was interesting that you think this sequel is even better than the first installment. That rarely happens.
It was great fun and I was pleasantly surprised to find it better than the first. Thanks for posting :tiphat:
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Post by SABRADLEY » 17 Jun 2018, 14:37

I loved your review of the first book and am thrilled you got to review book two! I'm glad the author upped the ante this round. It definitely sounds like a series I would enjoy!

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Post by Helen_Combe » 17 Jun 2018, 14:39

SABRADLEY wrote:
17 Jun 2018, 14:37
I loved your review of the first book and am thrilled you got to review book two! I'm glad the author upped the ante this round. It definitely sounds like a series I would enjoy!
Thank you, I’m sure you would enjoy it :tiphat:
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