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Review: No Rest for the Dead

February 21, 2012

Author: Various
Title: No Rest for the Dead
Published: 2011
Pages: 384


This is a crime novel written by twenty-six bestselling authors of crime/thriller. You have the likes of Tess Gerristen, Alexander McCall Smith, Peter James, Jeff Lindsay and more. The story revolves around the case of the murder of Christopher Thomas, curator, by his wife, Rosemary Thomas. She is sentenced to death by lethal injection and the story follows the detective Jon Nunn, who was assigned to the case and who now believes that Rosemary Thomas didn’t murder her husband, try to bring everyone who was there the night Christopher died and finally crack the case.

On paper, this novel sounds like a good thing; it has all the trappings of a blockbuster thriller but I feel that it’s let down trying to placate all the writers. The first part which accounts Rosemary Thomas execution starts the novel. This is all fine. Unfortunately, the second part which accounts Jon Nunn trying to get everyone back together is just filled with longueurs and lacking any characterisation. It is boring beyond belief. There is absolutely no suspense or, if there was, it was extremely slight and not worth bothering about. The characters are not fleshed out in the slightest, their only contribution is to move the plot forward. Jon Nunn is the typical washed-up cop who can’t let one case go. And the writers seemed to want some psychological depth for Christopher Thomas but he comes across as such an asshat that it becomes unbelievably silly.

As I wrote, the problem with so many writers is that they all have to have a chapter (some have more than one) but too often this upsets the flow, the momentum of the story. In fact, the story could have easily been told in half the pages and I don’t mean summarising the plot but there is too much spinning wheels just so an author gets his/hers chance.

I suppose the one positive is that there is a pretty good consistency between the writers’ styles. No one author stands out but then again, nothing stands out. Oh, and it’s perfectly readable which, I suppose, is a given due to the writers involved. They aren’t successful for nothing.

In the end, I wouldn’t bother reading this.


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