Title: Call Me When You’re Dead
Author: A.R. Taylor
Genre: Contemporary, Mystery
First published: September 6th 2022
Publisher: She Writes Press
Finished reading: August 7th 2022
Pages: 368
DNF at 18% (66 pages)

“It was the air of sabotage, and Jonathan sniffed it uncomfortably, then eyeballed two of the scarier females in the agency standing by the coffee machine in the front lounge.”

*** A copy of this book was kindly provided to me by Netgalley and She Writes Press in exchange for an honest review. Thank you! ***

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I added Call Me When You’re Dead to my shelves on a whim mainly because I was getting huge Finlay Donovan vibes and I love that series. The blurb sounded like a lot of fun, and I’ve been looking forward to read it… Sadly, I ended up agreeing with the low ratings for this book, and I had to resort to making the difficult decision to DNF it. I’ll try to explain briefly why this story didn’t work for me.

Like I said, the blurb sounded like a lot of fun and I was looking forward to this dark comedy, but the actual story fell rather flat for me. There was no real plot to speak of (or at least in the part I read), and it was more the random ramblings of the characters rather than something really cohesive. True, we get the mysterious request of Sasha for Eleanor to ‘get him’ if something happens to her, but it’s all rather vague and the focus seems on something else. To make things worse, the attempt at humor was a total fail for me, and there wasn’t even the tiniest chuckle once while I tried to read this story. It mostly felt like slow torture instead…

Another thing that bothered me considerably was the awkward third person POV; I can enjoy stories with this POV if they are done right, but something just felt off here and it only alienated me from the characters even more. This is the worst possible result, because the characters are bland and rather horrible in the first place, and I didn’t particularly want to spend any time with them. I also clashed considerably with the writing style itself… There was just something about the structure and word choice that felt rather awkward and forced (see the quote for an example).

As you might have guessed, sadly Call Me When You’re Dead and me most definitely didn’t get along, and I really saw no other way out than DNFing this. True, things might have improved later on, but judging the reviews I don’t think I missed out on too much.


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