Book Review – Deadly Departed
Rating: 4 of 5 stars
Author: Tom Ryan
The newly appointed constable of Port Isle was understandably anxious as he approached the lumber mill. After all, this was his first death investigation. As he and the mill supervisor walked into the expansive and dangerous lumber yard, the supervisor explained his shock and dismay at the gruesome accidental death of a young female office worker crushed under a stacked log pile that had given way. In an attempt to uncover and positively identify the body, the constable finds evidence clearly showing that the log pile did not give way by accident and that the tragic death was in fact murder. While the mystery of who committed such a crime plagued the constable, and even more and perhaps greater mystery filled his mind –how was it that one could be murdered in the land of those already dead?
Tom Ryan’s “Deadly Departed” is definitely not your run of the mill (pun intended!) murder mystery and that is its strength. If you can imagine a cross between David Lynch’s “Twin Peaks” and Tim Burton’s “Beetlejuice” then you might be somewhere in the ballpark of what “Deadly Departed” is like. “Departed” is an imaginative and clever romp into a unique “purgatory-esque” afterlife. Ryan creates such a unique and at times bizarre world that it is almost impossible to guess how the plot will resolve and unfold. None-the-less, it all works resulting in a very entertaining read.
Ryan’s writing is spot on – good pace, great descriptions, impressive world building, engaging characters and fun turns of phrase. I have no idea if Ryan intends this to be a series, but with a world so unique one could see how this could really blossom into a multi-novel offering. If you like standard fare and mainstream reads, this may not be for you. If however, you enjoy something very different that will likely be something you remember for quite some time to come, you won’t be disappointed in “Deadly Departed.”