Thursday, September 1, 2011

The Undertaker by William Brown

Peter Talbot is a geek who is just going through the motions of life and has been for the past year since his wife Terri died from cancer. So he is stunned when one evening leaving for work, a large man slides into the passenger side of his vehicle and shows Peter two obituaries from the paper, his and his wifes.

The obituary states they were killed in a car accident in Ohio and the funeral is the next day. The man in the passenger seat, Gino Parino, urges Peter to forget about his visit, it is a misunderding. But Peter can't tolerate the idea of someone beseeching Terri's memory, so he calls into work and drives to Ohio.

No one attends the funeral, except Gino, who urges Peter to go back home and forget about it. He doesn't want Peter to get involved or to get hurt. But Peter can't leave it alone and begins to question the proprietor of Greene Funeral Home, who tells Peter that people have other people's names all the time and it is purely coincidence. Peter knows better, the details in the obit were his and Terri's lives and he knows they aren't in the cheap pine boxes sitting in the chapel.

Peter begins to feel alive again - anger and wanting to get to the bottom of the situation. He begins to investigate - his search leads him to obituaries similiar to his and Terri's - nine in the past year. All involving the Varner Clinic, Greene Funeral Home, Oak Hill Cemetery and the honorable Ralph Tinkerton, esquire as executor.

He questions them, as well as the local sheriff. They all tell him a different story and the only words that seem to get a rise out of all of them is "Jimmy 'the Stump' Santorini, a mafia boss of eastern New Jersey. Peter is determined to put a stop to the scam or whatever it is that is happening. His investigation takes him to several states and to a woman named Sandy. But can he solve the case before he ends up dead for real this time?

The Undertaker is a thoroughly executed thriller that quickly captured my attention. Author Bill Brown's writing reminded me much of one of my favorite suspense writers, Brian Freeman. The characters are realistic set against a modern day world with believable situations. Quick-paced and solid, I would recommend The Undertaker to any suspense fan! I can't wait to read more from this very talented author!!

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The old grey donkey, Eeyore stood by himself in a thistly corner of the Forest, his front feet well apart, his head on one side, and thought about things. Sometimes he thought sadly to himself, "Why?" and sometimes he thought, "Wherefore?" and sometimes he thought, "Inasmuch as which?" and sometimes he didn't quite know what he was thinking about.

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