Friday, November 6, 2015

"Dead Investigation"

Charlie Price lives in northern California. He is an executive coach for business leaders and has also worked with at-risk teens in schools, hospitals, and communities. His novels include Desert Angel and The Interrogation of Gabriel James, winner of the Edgar Award.

Price applied the Page 69 Test to his latest novel, Dead Investigation, and reported the following:
Overview: Murray is living in a cemetery lawnmower shed, once again hearing troublesome voices he cannot identify.

Let’s say you have no dad and your mom is a prostitute and the kids in your school find out. So to them you’re an outcast, a loser. Home and school are both miserable and you’re so alienated you wind up taking refuge in a cemetery and so lonely that you talk to the headstones. Let’s say after a while you realize they’re returning your conversation and pretty soon you have a new identity, Friend to the Deceased. In fact, you want those words on your own tombstone. You figure you’ll probably die soon after you graduate from high school, which is fine because life is no wreath of roses.

You get to know several of the dead, especially the younger ones, but one day you hear a voice that you don’t know and had never spoken to. A new voice. A disturbed voice that seems to be crying. And let’s say your only living friend, Pearl, the cemetery caretaker’s daughter, pesters you to find where the voice is coming from and reluctantly, you do. And that finding gets you in more trouble than you ever imagined possible. So that’s the prequel, Dead Connection.

The new book, Dead Investigation, starts right where the first book ends, but Murray’s social position has deteriorated. His classmates have found out Murray admitted he talks with the dead. Now he’s progressed from non-entity dork to certified psycho-ghoul. Not exactly a step up. Worse, something’s happening in his home cemetery that he thought he’d never have to deal with again: New voices, full of pain, crying out for help.
...the sounds were unmistakable. Different voices grumbling, groaning, mixed together, hard to understand. As he honed in he noticed another voice on top of the others. Higher, thinner, but there was so much background noise all he could pick up was “R” and “U.”

“Are you.” Again and again . . . part of a longer sentence but the rest was blurred. His stomach rolled remembering a few months ago, the first time he’d listened closely to the murdered cheerleader. He thought she kept repeating, “hit me.” Later, when they’d actually talked, Murray realized it was, “hid me.” Right now he believed the reedy voice could feel him . . . was saying something directed to him. “Who are you?” Or, “What are you doing?” Or “Are you going to help?” Too many possibilities to make sense of it. Another girl, kidnapped and killed? That was the last thing in the world Murray wanted to find. It practically made him sick.

The voice could connect. Knew Murray was out here. Now what was he supposed to do? He couldn’t just walk away.

But he did.
So Murray’s in a bind. And scared. These voices could literally drive him crazy if they don’t shut up. He can’t seem to ignore them, but he can’t tell anybody either, especially not Pearl. The only thing he can think of is to figure out who they are and why they’re so miserable. His investigation puts him on a collision course with Deputy Sheriff Roman Gates, his feminist partner Deputy Faraday, and his woman confidant, psych caseworker Peggy Duheen.

Murray hopes to hide within the boundary of the cemetery for the rest of his life, but the outside world is banging on the graveyard gate, badgering him to use his possibly clairvoyant skills to help uncover another murderer.
Visit Charlie Price's website.

My Book, The Movie: Dead Investigation.

Writers Read: Charlie Price.

--Marshal Zeringue