Death Most Definite by Trent Jamieson

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Death Most Definite by Trent Jamieson

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Category: Fantasy
Rating: 4/5
Reviewer: Louise Laurie
Reviewed by Louise Laurie
Summary: Steven de Selby sees dead people all the time and in any place. It's all in a day's work as a necromancer in the family firm but one day he sees one dead person too many ...
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 416 Date: August 2010
Publisher: Orbit
ISBN: 978-1841498591

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As soon as I read the blurb on the front cover of the book, I gained a pretty good idea of the tone and style. Reaping - it's a grim job but someone's got to do it. This book is a little bit quirky, a little bit out of the ordinary. I was keen to start reading.

Steven comes across as a laid-back character with a nice line in humour. For example, he says of a colleague My Derek tolerance is definitely at a low today. Steven (or Steve as he's usually called) doesn't take himself too seriously. But his unusual job is giving him headaches - it's a job that he can't ignore, much as he'd like to at times. And the reader is introduced to Steve's world. A world full of Pomps and Stirrers, words which are repeated like a mantra time and time again in this book. And no, I didn't have a clue as to what they meant. As people die, their spirits are ahem ... assisted (courtesy of Steve and the other members of the family business) from one dimension to the next, for a peaceful afterlife, if you will. Apparently, Pomps (that includes Steve) are good and Stirrers are bad. And it's a constant struggle between the two to create harmony. And Steve is at great pains to tell us that his job is, well, nigh on impossible at times. Rotten hours, very risky, dangerous, unpredictable ... And so the fun begins big-time.

Jamieson gives the reader a very good idea of what all of this involves when Steve's having a quiet drink in a local bar. Non-pomps are completely unaware of anything remiss but Steve is sweating and agitated, sussing out the situation. He can hold a conversation with the dead but often the whole experience leaves him shattered. It seems to drain him both physically and mentally. But all of this is wrapped up in very funny dialogue.

We find out that Steve's wife has left him, couldn't handle his 'job.' So it's just him and his much-loved dog, Molly. And when poor Molly suffers because of his blasted job, it's a heartbreaking piece of prose. You will not fail to be moved.

Jamieson draws Steve's character beautifully. He's so real. He's almost 3D on the page. I couldn't help but warm to him. As the story and the plot develop, the deaths of people close to Steve occur. And the count keeps rising. He needs to do something and fast. He has an unusual assistant in Lissa. She's dead. But she's also extremely helpful; the fact that she's also invisible is a bonus. Their conversations are lively and lovely at the same time. And Jamieson takes the reader on a fantastical journey in the process. His imagination almost spills over the pages. And for readers of the genre it is all refreshingly original. He certainly has fun with most of the characters.

For me, it was the humour which stood out. Steve is hilarious in his descriptions and in the haphazard way he leads his life. He's the type of bloke you wouldn't mind having a few pints with at the pub (as long as his blasted (he would say bloody) job doesn't spoil it). A refreshingly original and enjoyable read.

I'd like to thank the publishers for sending a copy to The Bookbag. We also have a review of Managing Death by Trent Jamieson.

If this book appeals then try The Folding Knife by K J Parker.

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Buy Death Most Definite by Trent Jamieson at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Death Most Definite by Trent Jamieson at Amazon currently charges £2.99 for standard delivery for orders under £20, over which delivery is free.
Buy Death Most Definite by Trent Jamieson at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Death Most Definite by Trent Jamieson at


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