5-Stars for ‘Kiss Me When I’m Dead,’ By Dominic Piper
‘Slick and Compelling’
Kiss Me When I’m Dead, by Dominic Piper, may well be the smartest crime tale I’ve read to date. It’s not only compelling, it’s craftily compelling as the author used his literary skills and story-telling abilities with masterful precision.
Chapters are planned out, obviously outlined, and delivered like a film script with the obstacles and intentions clearly recognisable. This is the sign of a veteran writer. Also, I’d say, someone who may have written in the film or TV industry. The chapters begin on the beat and often end with a slick teaser enticing, almost commanding you to read on.
The dialogue is real, smooth, and the narration (PI Daniel Becket’s first-person accounting) is strong and clever.
As a writer and screenwriter, I found so much right with this book it’s difficult for me to elaborate on the neat devices Mr Piper used with such fluency without sounding like a lecturer in a class on Literary Criticism.
If you follow my reviews, you’ll notice I’ve chosen, with this book, to abandon my typical format. I’ve done so as to avoid surrendering spoilers. With a mystery / crime investigation story such as this, with numerous creative twists, I felt I’d be doing the reader and author a potential disservice.
I will say, however, that Daniel Becket’s investigation into the disappearance of a wealthy weapons dealer’s daughter, will take him deep into a very diabolical world where he, and you the reader, will draw conclusions of what’s coming next, feel certain you’re right, then dispense with them when something unexpected evolves.
This, in itself, makes Kiss Me When I’m Dead an outstanding read.
What I liked most:
One can usually tell when a story has been outlined. The scenes are often more precise. They have conflict, and as I described above, clearly identifiable intentions and obstacles.
Mr Piper shows his literary prowess by offering scenes that are miniature stories. Yet another sign of a skilled, veteran writer.
Mr Piper’s characters are believable, adequately described, and don’t all sound the same. But above all, and more importantly, they’re interesting.
Becket, though the least described physically, comes to life through his first-person narration. He’s talented, confident, slick, great with women (They seem to hit on him wherever he turns) driven and competent.
He’s the consummate hero we guys all want to be. Ethical, moral, resourceful, driven to succeed and smooth with attractive women drawn to him as if by gravity or magnetism.
The sexual theme
Mr Piper obviously wanted this to be a sexy crime investigation story and wrote it quite well. The sexual theme is strong, sensual at times, not overly explicit for this genre, and never overwhelms the main theme. Someone evil may have done something bad to a young girl who, for various reasons, has found herself in a dangerous, often degrading lifestyle.
I have none. This story held my attention as much as any book I’ve read this year. Actually more!
Summary and Recommendation:
Kiss Me When I’m Dead is a clever mystery, crime investigation story with a carefully handled, well-executed sexual theme. The world in which PI Daniel Becket must delve is prostitution, and, as in real life, one can expect that some of the players are nice and some are not.
Without hesitation, I give Kiss Me When I’m Dead 5-stars and my highest recommendation.
Review by TE Mark – Writer / Screenwriter