Author: Allen Wyler
First Published: 2012
Page Count: 324
Film/ TV Adaptation: No
Rating: 4/5 Stars
An eerie thriller that builds on an exciting story towards a disappointing conclusion.
“The right choice is the one that provides the greatest good.” Dr. Lucas McCrae is shocked when he finds his best friend’s head on the cadaver table where he was about to perform a medical demonstration in Hong Kong. Upon returning to his Seattle home, he discovers his friend is missing and that a funeral business may be murdering innocent people in order to sell their body parts for medical research. With the help of a beautiful cop named Wendy Elliot and a gangster named Luis Ruiz, who suspects his sister might have also become a victim of the funeral home, Lucas must try to find justice for his friend.
Unlike Dead End Deal, another Wyler book I have read and reviewed for this blog, this story doesn’t wait to let loose. From chapter one the mystery begins. Finding your best friend’s head or really anyone’s head that you care about on your demonstration table is such a frightening and brilliant plot idea. Add the fact that the main character is having distracting marital problems and you have a very interesting book that ties all the side stories to the main plot perfectly. The buildup of suspense is ideal; it doesn’t go overboard to get your attention and it’s perfectly spaced out through the book. I was really excited that this book didn’t have the same problems I thought Dead End Deal had, and you really see Wyler’s talent for combining his medical knowledge with creative writing in this book.
However, this nearly perfect book utterly fails in the conclusion. Wyler creates this intricate storyline for how the funeral home and the missing people all relate to each other. It also has been a huge struggle for the main character and his allies to find proof of the funeral home’s crimes. And then in one quick and easy moment, it’s all over. Compared to the rest of the story, the conclusion is just not that creative. My issue is that based on the way the conclusion played out, this could’ve happened at anytime in the story. It’s the obvious, easy-out to wrap up the story. I don’t think the buildup of the story made it that complex to the point that the author couldn’t have found a decent way to end it.
As I read through the story, I thought I had finally found a 5/5 star Allen Wyler book. I couldn’t put it down and I really wanted to see how the author would end the story. It’s very disappointing because the book is great except for the last twenty pages. However, the conclusion of the book is just as important as any other part, and you can’t skimp on the writing at this point unless you want the novel to fall flat at the grand finale.
*I received a free copy of this book for this review from the author.