Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Chris Knopf: Dead Anyways

Chris Knopf brings readers an intelligent thriller, where your life can really change in one second:

Arthur Cathcart, is a market researcher, the finder of information no matter how well hidden it appears or if someone is not wiling to talk; Arthur gets the job done. However, he never expected that his life would be turned upside down in one moment, one moment when everything you have worked so hard for in your life vanished and you yourself should be dead. Arthur makes a difficult decision, he decides to stay dead, and the only person who will still know that he is alive is his sister. Arthur enters a world where he was only on the fringe on before, but the more he uncovers about his wife's execution the more dangerous it becomes for him, but Arthur peruses on as he should be dead anyways, his life is the least of his worries.

I was not sure what to expect from this book as I had never heard of Knopf before, but the premise sounded interesting and something a little different. I was not disappointed and I am very glad that I picked up this book. I think my favorite part within this novel was Arthur. I like his way of thinking, very analytical and seeing things from all angles. I also liked that he had the ability to think outside of the box in order to obtain the information. I did have one issues that he only used Google to find his information, when there are so many other (and better) search engines for some of the type of information that he is looking for; though I did like that he was willing to scroll though the 63 or more pages that Google will give you.

I like that Knofp was aware throughout the book of Arthur's strength and weaknesses especially after the trauma that he suffers. Knofp is very aware that Arthur's strength is in his brain. He is not the most physically fit person before or after the trauma and I like that Knofp does not have him miraculously change when he is getting better into this super human person, which would be completely implausible. However, due to Arthur's lack of physical abilities there are not very many action scenes with guns blazing and fights happening (if you are looking for just that in a book, look some where else) but this is not to insinuate that there is not suspense within the book. There is, it just takes on a different form and more co-insides with the mystery.

I think my one complaint with the novel is there were a few mixed messages. For example after the shooting he does not have a brain for numbers any more, I think at one time he expresses that he feels he is back to only a grade 6 level, yet he able to follow some fairly complex flow of money. I'm not sure, maybe this used a different part of the brain, but I still believe that some sort of accounting math would be involved (which I believe is still higher than what you learn in sixth grade, but that was awhile back for me now, lol).

I was shocked where Knopf decided to end the book the novel, there is a cliff hanger that is for sure but at the same time the reader gets some sort of closer by the end of the book. I know that I would like to read the next book in the series especially as I think that Arthur is one of the most interesting characters I have read in a long time as he is more brains than brawn any day. I liked the intelligence he had and his attempt to rework his brain and life. It was also interesting that due to the fact that Arthur did not have the physicality to achieve the muscle he required (even though he liked to use his Client Eastwood voice) he was smart enough to figure out how to recruit the muscle that he needed.

This is book for those who are looking for an intelligent mystery/thriller where the most well laid path of evidence cannot be taken as our main character is working outside the law. Knopf does a great job of creating a story that keeps you thinking and on your toes at the same time. I really enjoyed this book and I look forward to reading another one by Knopf.

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