Tuesday 3 October 2017

Book review : Dead Or Alive - Dean Carson

Dead or Alive by Dean Carson is another book that I managed to pick up at The Works for a bargaintastic £1.

The novel features Eli Varrick, a macho, fearless and ruthless bounty hunter. He reminded me very much of Bruce Willis/John McClane in the Die Hard movies - he's pretty much indestructible, surviving bombs, bullets and knife attacks, and a bit brash, but his heart is in the right place so you can't help but like him. While he is happy to bump off evil lowlifes (if the price is right), he refuses point blank to kill women, children or innocent victims as collateral damage. Well, in theory anyway - as the novel progresses, he has to bend his own rules slightly just to stay alive.

Understandably, in his line of work, Eli has made himself a lot of enemies, so the hunter soon becomes the hunted. Although he often works for governmental agencies and official organisations, his work is completely off the grid, so when he finds himself in a tight spot, he can't count on anybody to help him out. Although his quick wit and even quicker reflexes get him out of many life-endangering situations, he does trip up and make mistakes and bad judgements sometimes, which helps to make him seem more human and likeable.

It's all fairly predictable but it's a high octane page-turner that had me gripped, perfect for some light escapism after some very hectic days at work. 

The front cover says "An Eli Varrick Bounty Hunter Thriller" which suggests that it is part of a series, but this book was published in 2015 and I can't see any mention of any others, neither by Dean Carson nor by the author's real name, Anthony Galvin. That's a shame because he's a character who has a lot of potential.

star rating : 4/5


  1. I should check out WHSmith more often. I did buy last year's GBBO cook book for £6, and was very pleased with my bargain. Dead or alive sounds gripping.

    1. I always love their cookbook bargains ... although I definitely don't need any more, nor have the space for them !

  2. Hi Cheryl. Thanks for the review! I am glad you enjoyed the book. There are plans for other books in the series. The second will be ready shortly and is set along the Camino Way pilgrimage in Spain - a killer is stalking pilgrims who are doing the Way for the wrong reasons. I won't say more. The reason for the delay is I was working on other projects and dealing with some non-writing personal issues.

    The current publisher has gone into liquidation and so Dead or Alive will be off the market for a while, then will come out in last spring with a new publisher, with the sequel to follow in a few months. Dean Carson

    1. That's great news - I'll look out for it, it sounds like an exciting plot :)


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