‘Brown feet. A stolen ring. Two ghost encounters. A nameless relative. Lake Placid.’
Myles Walsh just wants to be your average, ‘get lost in the crowd’ kid, but a surprise turn of events will set a spotlight on his life.
Good morning you B-E-A-Utiful bookworms. ^_^
I’m super excited to share this review with you: I could not put this book down!
The Dead Man Story, a mystery/suspense novel, by Marty Conley, hooked me from the very first sentence- ‘I was afraid this would happen.’
As soon as I read that, I was dying to know- what had Myles been afraid would happen, and would he be all-right?
The story starts on a Tuesday (September 2nd) and runs until Mid-October time (roughly a six week period), yet the events will surely haunt Miles for much longer. Together, he and his cousin Kat, and best friend Brady uncover a dead body in an abandoned area just a short distance from Myles’s home.
At first, I felt as shocked as these kids, full of questions about how and why this poor man had come to be left there, as if he were just a piece of garbage to be discarded at will.
But, does anyone believe Myles and his friends? Of course not. As far as their parents are concerned, Myles is simply ‘telling another one of his stories.’ With that having been said, the entire plot revolves around Myles’s pursuit of the truth: the dead man’s truth.
Not only does Myles have this trauma to deal with (all at the tender age of thirteen, no less): he must also complete a writing assignment that worries him more each day, for if he doesn’t get all As and Bs, he won’t be allowed to play in the big hockey match at Lake Placid. As you can see, the stakes are set pretty high for Myles from the beginning.
You may be wondering- what else can possibly weigh so heavily on this young boy’s shoulders?
Well, how about a twitching condition, and burps that reek of cod liver oil, because Myles’s dad force feeds him a spoonful every day before school.
Pretty embarrassing- am I right?
Having discovered the dead body, Myles takes a souvenir of sorts and continues to investigate the deceased man’s background as much as he is able. At this point, the tension in the novel rises and becomes more of a constant companion throughout. I have to give it to the author- they have really mastered their tension building techniques, because from start to finish, I was literally sat at the edge of my seat.
I was astounded at the transformation Myles went through as an individual. Having adored his character from the start, it warmed me to see him go from a shy and nervous fish-burping kid, to a brave and determined young storyteller. Not only did he act fast when faced with dangerous situations most adults would run from: he also grew from each new experience and bettered himself in some way. His twitches also go from being a nuisance to acting as a defence mechanism to calm Myles when he’s overstressed. Seeing his condition described in both a negative and positive way was particularly refreshing and demonstrates that sometimes, even our weaknesses can become our strengths.
This was a truly inspiring piece of fiction and I would seriously urge you to read a sample and decide for yourselves. I loved the almost ‘Stranger Things’ type of feeling I got from the book’s setting and cast, seeing a small band of tight-knit friends sticking together through thick and thin. Their keen sense of camaraderie alone makes this a ‘must read’ in my opinion.
All the loose threads wove seamlessly together. This is not your typical teen novel of teenage crushes and spread rumours. No- this is life and death, with an unsolved mystery that can only be solved by the unique power of storytelling. I would highly recommend this book to lovers of YA fiction, and mystery.
Overall, a well thought out five star story.
Thanks for reading my review of The Dead Man Story.
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