I know many romance readers regret the loss of Theresa Weir’s voice in the romance genre. Many of her books are very difficult to find today. However, she kicks ass in the suspense books she now writes as Anne Frasier. Play Dead is full of atmosphere, great suspense with three dimensional characters which all comes together to tell a very good story.
Play Dead was a page turner in that the author does a very good job of creating a creepy atmosphere beginning with page one. The opening scene in facts sets the stage of suspense when a medical examiner receives a body thought to be dead and in fact, just before he slices— the body moves.
The story is set in Savannah, Georgia and the author does an excellent job of evoking an atmosphere full of voodoo magic and mystical spells.
Then there are the two leads who have interesting backgrounds and a lot of baggage. Homicide detective, Elise Sandburg entered life in an unusual way—she was left in a cemetery as a baby. She seemingly knows Gullah spells, voodoo magic and the like and this reputation proceeds her and her colleagues seem to give her a wide berth. Elise knows none of those things but it’s apart of her history. So, it’s no surprise that she is partnered with ex-FBI agent David Gould. David has issues that stem from the death of his child. He’s marked as a man on the “brink”. When he first meets Elise, he is on medication to battle grief; therefore he is perceived as being anti-social; he can’t seem to function.
Eventually he stops the meds so that he can help Elise solve the newest case. And what a case. Someone is using a drug that gives the illusion of death but the person isn’t actually dead hence the title: play dead. It’s a toxin of some sort that leaves the victim paralyzed but breathing and completely conscious.
What attracted me to this story so deeply was David. He was a wounded soul. Very well written character, too. David finds himself unwittingly attracted to a prostitute who actually works for a voodoo priestess that they are investigating. This may put some romance readers off but why should it since this is not a romance. It is this thread that is rather interesting and a point of contention between David and his partner, Elise. Obviously it’s a unhealthy relationship and David tries to get out of it but these two people seem to have a connection to each other that goes soul deep.
As the investigation gains more speed, David and Elise do start to trust each other but no, they do not have a romance together. In the end, they do become friends. I wish the author would write more stories with these two characters as I liked them a lot.
Play Dead was a page-turner and one of the best of her suspense books that I’ve read. So, I’d give this book a B+. I still have one more to read, Sleep Tight, that I have waiting right here next to me for my TBR challenge. I thought I’d write this review since Ms. Frasier has a new book coming out September 5, 2006, called The Pale Immortal. It looks very, very good.