Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Presumed Dead By Shirley Wells

Presumed Dead

Presumed Dead
Shirley Wells
Carina Press
Kindle Edition
Netgalley Arc

Amazon Blurb -

Dylan Scott has problems. Dismissed in disgrace from the police force for assaulting a suspect, he has no job, his wife has thrown him out and-worse luck-his mother has moved in. So when Holly Champion begs him to investigate the disappearance of her mother thirteen years ago, he can't say no, even though it means taking up residence in the dreary Lancashire town of Dawson-s Clough for the duration.
Although the local police still believe Anita Champion took off for a better life, Dylan-s inquiries turn up plenty of potential suspects: the drug-dealing, muscle-bound bouncer at the club where Anita was last seen; the missing woman-s four girlfriends, out for revenge; the local landowner with rumored mob connections-the list goes on. But no one is telling Dylan all they know-and he soon finds that one sleepy Northern town can keep a lot of secrets.

I have to be honest, this book just didn't do it for me.  I feel like it never took off.  Dylan's character wasn't bad, but he was kind of a dud, I didn't develop any real feelings for him.  The story itself wasn't suspenseful at all.  There were 2 parts in the whole book that had potential where I said "Oh man!", one of them coming practically at the end of the book but the author just didn't run with it.

The poor guy is given the boot by his wife, he lives in "the smallest flat in the world" with his mother taking up extended residency, he was fired from the police dept so you really feel bad for him.  His constant statement of  Bev, his wife, coming around she always does was getting old real quick.  The dude is in a slump, so this case could be his ticket out.  He is tenacious and sticks with it following every. single. solitary. lead. that comes along, get my drift.  I was fighting the boredom but stuck through it.  The one character I really liked and probably could've been used more, was retired cop Frank Willoughby.  He was a hard a$$ who didn't get along with Dylan when they were on the job, but made amends and worked quite well together here.

Sadly I can only give this book 2 cannolis


  1. Thanks for sharing, Paula. Gonna pass on this one....

  2. No problem Julie, I hate when that happens. And the cover really drew me in...

  3. Hi,

    I came across your review of 'Presumed Dead' by Shirley Wells whilst searching for other titles by this author.
    Dylan Scott is commissioned to investigate a missing person case. Your review states, and I quote, that he is "tenacious, following every. single. solitary. lead. that comes along". Well, he would wouldn't he. That's what private investigators do, particularly when there is little hard evidence to pursue. The fact that some of these leads end up in blind alleys is (a) a fact of life, and (b) adds suspense and drama to the whole storyline.
    Shirley Wells' characterisation of him, and indeed all the other characters in the novel is first class and the reader can really get under his skin and find out what makes him tick. You say “His constant statement of Delores, his wife, coming around she always does was getting old real quick.” This made wonder if you’d actually read the book as there is no character, wife or not, named Delores in the whole novel!

    I have to agree with the editor of Suspense Magazine who commented “Shirley Wells does an incredible job of writing a fast paced thriller, that will have you guessing until the end.”
    The book is more a ‘what happened’ than a ‘who dunnit’. It is brilliantly written, with a maelstrom of ideas and leads that the author carefully unfolds towards the conclusion.

    Five Stars plus!

  4. @ Martin, you're right, my mistake, her name was Bev. I read a lot of books, and with 6 kids my braincells have just gone up in smoke, so I got characters mixed up. That doesn't change my opinion of the book though. We all like different books, glad you were able to enjoy it.


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