Customer Review

18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good but not her best., 8 Nov 2008
This review is from: Living With The Dead: Number 9 in series (Otherworld) (Hardcover)
I've been a fan of Kelley Armstrong's books for years but I'm sad to say that this book is not her best. It's a good book and I passed an enjoyable evening curled up on the sofa reading this but it doesn't come up to the extremely high standards which she has set in so many of her previous books.

In 'Living with the Dead' Hope Adams (and her boyfriend Karl Marsten) is in L.A. temporarily on assignment for work, but she also there to check up on her friend Robyn Peltier who's husband was killed a few months previously. When one of Robyn's clients is murdered and Robyn becomes the prime suspect after fleeing the scene of the murder, Hope and Karl try to clear her name. Also trying to find Robyn is homicide detective John Findlay (Finn) who happens to be a necromancer. Finn is being helped track Robyn down and solve the murder by the ghost of Robyn's dead husband Damon. (I love this idea - a necromancer solving crimes with the help of a ghost sidekick!)

Robyn, Finn and Damon are interesting characters and good additions to this series, but with so many other characters center stage you never get to know any of them very well. This leads on to my first problem with this book, which is the number of point of views that are used to tell the story (Hope, Robyn, Finn, Adele, Colm). I felt that this made the story a bit too disjointed hopping from one person to another every other chapter. In her earlier books the story is told far more from one or two characters perspectives and you get to know the characters in far more depth. I've not been able to warm to Hope as much as to previous characters and I think it's partially because of the constant switching perspectives that have been used in the books which feature her.

My other problem with this book is the villain of the piece, yes she comes across as ruthless and manipulative and generally nasty but not terribly scary all things considered, and not really big and bad enough to be the major villain in a supernatural story. Maybe this was a conscious decision - that because the main character Robyn is human the supernatural baddies actions have to be scaled down more appropriately to something potentially just an everyday human criminal.

Despite the faults i've mentioned this is a good book and if you're a fan of the series already like me then you will probably enjoy it too. If you haven't read anything by Kelley Armstrong before I'd recommend that you start with Bitten and work your way through the series.
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