Inherit the Dead

Inherit the Dead

2.6 14
by Jonathan Santlofer, Charlaine Harris, Lisa Unger, Lee Child

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Twenty thrilling writers. One chilling mystery.

Pericles “Perry” Christo is a P.I. with a past. A one-time NYPD homicide cop, Perry has been struggling since he lost his badge, and his marriage, in a notorious corruption scandal. So when wealthy Upper East Side matron Julia Drusilla calls him one cold February night, he jumps at the chance to


Twenty thrilling writers. One chilling mystery.

Pericles “Perry” Christo is a P.I. with a past. A one-time NYPD homicide cop, Perry has been struggling since he lost his badge, and his marriage, in a notorious corruption scandal. So when wealthy Upper East Side matron Julia Drusilla calls him one cold February night, he jumps at the chance to work what seems to be a straightforward (and lucrative) case. Julia needs Perry to track down the whereabouts of her beautiful yet aimless daughter, Angelina, who is about to become a very wealthy young heiress.

But as Perry digs deeper, he discovers there’s much more to the story of the lovely “Angel.” Her father, her best friend, her boyfriend—they all have agendas of their own. This classic noir tale twists and turns down New York's mean streets and around Hamptons’ beaches and back roads, during a bitterly cold and gray winter where nothing is as it seems and everyone has something to hide.

Told in the same “serial novel” format that made 2011’s No Rest for the Dead such a commercial and critical success, Inherit the Dead is a collaboration among twenty of today’s bestselling mystery and thriller authors—each taking a chapter of the narrative and infusing it with their signature style. The editor, Jonathan Santlofer, has arranged to donate any royalties in excess of editor and contributor compensation to Safe Horizon, a leading provider of services to victims of violence and abuse, making this a worthy—and winning—accomplishment that showcases today’s finest writers at their very best.

Editorial Reviews

Library Journal - Audio
This collection seems to include every conceivable genre cliché in the hard-boiled tradition, from moody private investigators to sexually licentious rich women to sexy blue-collar studs seducing every female player in the story. In addition to creating flat characters and painfully noncompelling romantic tension, each of the 20 authors, including Lee Child, Charlaine Harris, and Mary Higgins Clark, makes sure to reiterate the full names of all the main characters in their individual chapters, which gets distracting after a while. Christopher Evan Welch's narration is pleasant enough during most of the text, but his somewhat overdone accents grate when paired with the clichéd characters. VERDICT Although the book is billed as a fundraiser for a domestic violence charity (after author and editor compensations), this is not recommended unless your library is feeling particularly generous. ["Readers can't go wrong with this juicy thriller written serial style," argues the review of the Touchstone hc, LJ 10/1/13.]—Victoria A. Caplinger, NoveList, Durham, NC
Publishers Weekly
Despite the usual serial-novel pitfalls, C.J. Box, Lawrence Block, Mary Higgins Clark, Charlaine Harris, Val McDermid, and the 15 other distinguished crime authors who each contribute a chapter to this team project succeed in fashioning an engaging and cohesive plot. Each author maintains his or her distinctive style and storytelling approach. Marcia Clark’s offering is a mini–legal thriller, for example, while Heather Graham’s is heavy on the romance. Wealthy Julia Drusilla hires former NYPD homicide cop Pericles “Perry” Christo to find her missing 20-year-old daughter, Angelina, who’s set to inherit a fortune. The trail to Angel, as her family calls her, twists from Manhattan’s Upper East Side to the Hamptons and Brooklyn. Everyone in Angel’s life has an ulterior motive, including her father, boyfriend, and best friend. The chapters move seamlessly as clues and storylines set up by one author are expanded by the next. Royalties in excess of editor and contributor compensations go to Safe Horizon, America’s largest provider of services for domestic violence victims. (Oct.)
"Although it’s not a sequel to 2011’s No Rest for the Dead, this novel-by-committee is a very good followup. Twenty writers—among them such notables as Billingham, Box, Bruen, Connolly, and McDermid—combine forces. … There are some stylistic variations between the 20 authors—John Connolly doesn’t sound like Charlaine Harris—but, for the most part, the story moves as though there were a single hand on the tiller. Not merely a genre curiosity, the book is a well-told mystery that stands on its own two (or 40) feet."
Post and Courier
“Good book, good cause, bad guy caught: win, win, win.”
Connecticut Post
Inherit the Dead isn’t the first book written by a group of popular writers … but this novel-by-committee has to be one of the best. The novel grabs you in the first section and keeps building.… It isn’t often that you get to have so much fun while contributing to a wonderful charity.”
Romance Reviews Today
“Well drawn and idiosyncratic . . . [with] some amazing twists. An entertaining mystery.”
Fresh Fiction
“Each chapter is written by a different author (all top-notch contributors ranging from Charlaine Harris and Heather Graham to John Connolly to Mary Higgins Clark) who moves the story forward in his or her own distinctive style . . . culminating in a surprising and shocking conclusion masterfully written by Lawrence Block. Thrillers fans will definitely want to check this book out! Not only is it a good read, you can feel good too as it supports a very worthy cause!”
“Each chapter is a gem, as though this were the only project that the writer had on his or her desk … well done!”
“Not a hiccup from one chapter to the next. It's a delightful book … But what else can you expect when these tried and true authors combine their skills?”
“When 20 of the best crime writers of our time team up to write a story, you know it will be worth the read. . . . The imagery evoked is noire, the PI just hardboiled enough, and the main reason for the investigation is a true femme fatale.”
Tome Tender Book Blog
“A wonderfully written mind teasing mystery. The plot twist and turns will have you questioning and second guessing till the end. Each chapter starts with the contributing author so not only do you get a great story but a good taste of each author's individual work...making us want more.”
Library Journal
A rich divorcée's estranged daughter, Angelina Loki, has gone missing, and the mother, Julia Drusilla, hires PI Pericles (Perry) Christo to find her. Ostensibly, the reason is an inheritance due on Angel's upcoming 21st birthday; Angel must sign documents on that day in order to claim her fortune. Perry can't afford to turn down the case, even though it smells fishy from the get-go. Trolling the length of Long Island and back to Manhattan, the puzzled PI meets a boatload of shady characters, almost all familiar to ardent crime fiction readers. There's the oddball father, the sleazy boyfriend, the married politician lover, the disloyal best friend, and even a shadowy character following Perry. Deducing what happened to Angel is quite the chase! VERDICT Readers can't go wrong with this juicy thriller written serial style by 20 popular authors (including Child, C.J. Box, and Val McDermid) that pays homage to classic noir fiction (Dashiell Hammett, anyone?). If Sandra Brown and others' No Rest for the Dead caught your patrons' attention, then grab this one, too. It's just right for season-in-a-box binge viewers, and all publishing profits go to a good cause, Safe Horizon.
Kirkus Reviews
In a follow-up, though hardly a sequel, to the round-robin novel No Rest for the Dead (2011), 20 authors team up to track down a missing heiress and raise money for the victims' support group Safe Horizon. Angelina Loki couldn't have picked a worse time to run away from the home she shares with her father, nonpracticing lawyer Norman Loki. Little does Angel know that in two weeks, when she turns 21, she's set to split a mammoth trust fund with Norman's ex, neurotic socialite Julia Drusilla--if she signs the appropriate papers that very day. Editor Santlofer shows Julia hiring private eye Pericles Cristo, who was framed and forced out of the NYPD, in his capable opening chapter. From that point on, routine is the order of the day. The story is so familiar and the chapters so short that the star-studded roster of authors would have to struggle to endow their contributions with any originality, and most of them settle for keeping the ball in play. Some of them introduce new characters for Perry to question; some of them don't. James Grady, Dana Stabenow and C.J. Box take it upon themselves to develop the plot; Heather Graham, Marcia Clark and Val McDermid wallow in genre clichés. The episodes, interrupted periodically by anonymous snippets from the criminal's point of view, are so formulaic that even though Ken Bruen and Max Allan Collins sound just like they always do, Perry's whole skein of conversations--you can hardly call them adventures--are readily integrated into a seamless story whose only problem is that it isn't very interesting. Other contributors include Stephen L. Carter, Charlaine Harris, Sarah Weinman, Bryan Gruley, Alafair Burke, John Connolly, Lisa Unger, S.J. Rozan, Mary Higgins Clark, Mark Billingham and Lawrence Block, all of them presumably recruited for the much better work they've done elsewhere.

Product Details

Simon & Schuster Audio
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5.20(w) x 5.70(h) x 0.80(d)

Meet the Author

With chapters by Mary Higgins Clark, John Connolly, Charlaine Harris, CJ Box, Mark Billingham, Lawrence Block, Ken Bruen, Alafair Burke, Stephen L. Carter, Marcia Clark, Max Allan Collins, James Grady, Heather Graham, Bryan Gruley, Val McDermid, SJ Rozan, Dana Stabenow, Lisa Unger, and Sarah Weinman.

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Inherit the Dead 2.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 14 reviews.
Chrissy_W More than 1 year ago
Disappointingly predictable. Did I enjoy this book: Pretty much. Ok class; get out your notebooks for a short review. Today’s subject: The mystery novel formula – that dastardly bestselling beast that gets repeated all too often while more worthy literature gets passed over. Main character: male, fortyish, divorced, feels guilty that he doesn’t get to see his daughter as often as he wants, and ostracized by colleagues for some unfair reason. Setting: either NYC or LA Victim: young, female, beautiful, rich, and mysterious Minor characters: rich, greedy, lying scum all of whom have a motive for wanting the victim out of the picture. Story line: questions, lies . . . more questions, more lies . . . then some interesting tidbit of a discovery. Follow up on the interesting tidbit while all other investigators say, “It’s stupid, let it go.” But our protagonist can’t. He continues to dig only to uncover some unexpected plot twist at the end. Oh wait. I just went through a complete summary of Inherit the Dead. Overall, it’s not a bad book, just disappointingly predictable. I do love that some of the money could be used for charity. Assuming there is some money left over after editor and contributor compensation. If your heart’s telling you it’s a worthy organization I’d recommend skipping the book and making a donation. Would I recommend it: If you’re looking something easy to read while on the treadmill or a book that’ll help you fall asleep, sure. But if you’re interested in more creative mysteries check out Dark Before Dawn or The Tulip Eaters. Will I read it again: No. As reviewed by Belinda at Every Free Chance Book Reviews. (I received a copy of this book for review purposes.)
VicG More than 1 year ago
Twenty New York Times bestselling authors team up to create a first-rate serial novel, “Inherit The Dead” published by Touchstone introduces us to Pericles “Perry” Christo. From the back cover:  To find an angel he made a deal with the devil Pericles “Perry” Christo is a PI with a past—a former cop, who lost his badge and his family when a corruption scandal left him broke and disgraced. When wealthy Upper East Side matron Julia Drusilla summons him one cold February night, he grabs what seems to be a straightforward (and lucrative) case. The socialite is looking for her beautiful, aimless daughter, Angelina, who is about to become a very wealthy young woman. But as Christo digs deeper, he discovers there’s much more to the lovely “Angel” than meets the eye. Her father, her best friend, her boy­friends all have agendas of their own. Angel, he soon realizes, may be in grave danger…and if Christo gets too close, he just might get caught in the crossfire. This classic noir tale twists and turns down New York’s mean streets and along Hamptons’ beaches and back roads during a bitterly cold and gray winter where nothing is as it seems and everyone has something to hide. Get ready for a page-turning, thrill ride.  Twenty authors got together to write one chapter each for this mystery that each author propels along at a really brisk clip.  I cannot imagine the amount of work that went into this to make this a seamless story but it paid off brilliantly, it works perfectly.  And all this to benefit Safe Horizon the largest victim’s support charity in the United States.  ”Inherit The Dead” is a satisfying mystery that will keep you flipping pages trying to find out what is going on.  The authors get us caught up in the story and the characters lives to the point that we actually hate to say goodbye to them when the book ends.  I liked this book very much and hopefully these authors will take it upon themselves to do something like this again.  I certainly will be waiting in line for it. Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Touchstone.   I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
But pretty much a waste of time. Tortured and pointless story. I'll stick to any one of the authors in a stand alone book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is a waste of talent. The lineup is supposed to writers of thrillers but the first 2/3 of the book is boring character development and history. The first dead body doesn't appear until the last chapters. The book does deliver a murder scene at the very end. Lee Child could have written this plot as a short story with much more action. Even with all the background time several of the main characters are inconsistant and poorly developed. We learn the list story of Detective Christo but I stopped caring much earlier. I finshed the book to find out the ending. A very minor character that appears in one scene and is quickly forgotten becomes a major protagoenest at the very end. The mystery of the book is what happened to the editor?
Jean1969 More than 1 year ago
I was surprised to read a book that 20 authors had one chapter each to write. Exciting to the end. I am going to buy No rest for the dead in which 26 authors contributing to this book. Can't wait.
Lynn-MI More than 1 year ago
I have read a lot of these authors and think they’re great but this book was a waste of paper, ink --- the whole story could have been consolidated into one short story (Block’s chapter – the end, was the best)! It was just a truly boring, long mystery and was so glad when Block finally put it to rest!
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CherylM-M More than 1 year ago
One plot, one story and twenty writers, twenty acclaimed crime writers I might add. Having multiple authors contribute to an multiple story anthology tends to work better than having them write a chapter each for a one-story book. The anthology gives each person a chance to show their individual ideas. In this case it made the story seem like the main character was suffering from a case of multiple personalities. One writer would write Perry with a slowpoke depressive attitude and the next with a brass almost volatile temperament. I think what bothered me the most was the actual lack of storyline. Perry spends nearly the entire book looking for a girl he has never met before, but who has suddenly taken on an imaginary role in his head and life. He obsesses over the unknown and adulates the fantasy girl, as opposed to the real woman. He also starts projecting his own custody issues and problems with his daughter and ex-wife onto the other characters in the book. Everything equates to his personal loss and guilt as a weekend dad. He thinks finding Angel will give him some sort of redemption card. Find missing girl equals being there for her even if he can't be there for his own flesh and blood. I found the ending a tad soap opera bizarre and think the extra voice within the chapters could have been utilized better. Although the novel wasn't as good as it could have been it deserves attention because it was created with a specific purpose in mind. Despite the fact that certain chapters shone more brightly than others, I applaud and support the fact these scribes have come together for a worthy cause, to support the victims of domestic abuse. I received a copy of this book courtesy of Edelweiss and the publisher.
Roslyn0 More than 1 year ago
Jonathan Santlofer has put together 20 famous acclaimed crime writers to create "Inherit the Dead". In the classic noir style, the story twists and turns as Christo travels along New York's streets and along Hamp­tons' beaches and back roads. Nothing is as it seems and everyone has something to hide. Pericles "Perry" Christo is a former NYPD detective, now earning his needs as a PI. He is rough on the outside and soft on the inside, a typical New Yorker. The story begins one cold wintry night on the Upper East Side. A very, very wealthy matron Julia Drusilla hires him to find her missing daughter, Angelina. It should be a straightforward and lucrative case. But as he delves deeper into the actions and acquaintances of the beautiful Angelina disturbing facts arise. The characters and situations are interesting. Angelina is the most mysterious because of her chameleon nature. In the background there is a mysterious stalker on the tale of Christo. As his thoughts are revealed, so is the danger Christo is unaware of. Each author has picked up on the plot and initial characters, adding more dimensions. One of the best enjoyments of reading this book is going forward to the next chapter. Although the theme stays consistent, you can recognize some of the various writers. I liked the opportunity to read authors I hadn't read before. On the negative side, I don't think if written by one author there would be so much redundancy by Christo brooding about his past bad experience on the police force and his broken marriage. The link with his daughter and the missing girl is important. We soon learn that the girl comes from an extremely dysfunctional home. The is a mother is described as unfeeling. The father has problems with drinking and drugs. I think this would be a wonderful book to give a fellow mystery reader.
Sailon More than 1 year ago
What a marvelous idea. Twenty well known mystery/suspense writers, each writing a chapter to create a cohesive mystery and then donating the proceeds to Safe Horizon! I was amazed at how seamlessly the story flowed but what would you expect from such a fabulous line up of authors. Perry Christo was forced out of the police department after a corruption scandal. Now a few years later he has a successful private investigation business. Julia Drusilla calls Perry, claiming that her daughter, Angelina Loki is missing. Angel is about to inherit a very large trust fund on her 21st birthday.  The deeper Perry investigates the more he realizes that everyone around him is lying and has something to hide. Inherit the Dead is a wonderfully written mind teasing mystery. The plot twist and turns will have you questioning and second guessing till the end. Each chapter starts with the contributing author so not only do you get a great story but a good taste of each author's individual work...making us want more. I received this ARC copy of Inherit the Dead from Simon & Schuster - Touchtone in exchange for a honest review. This book is set for publication October 8, 2013. Written by: Jonathan Santlofer, Alafair Burke, Stephen L. Carter, Marcia Clark, Max Allan Collins, John Connolly, James Grady, Heather Graham, Bryan Gruley, Charlaine Harris, Val McDermid, S.J. Rozan, Dana Stabenow, Lisa Unger, Sarah Weinman, Lee Child, Mark Billingham, Lawrence Block, C.J. Box, Ken Bruen Hardcover: 288 pages Publisher: Touchstone  Publication Date: October 8, 2013 ISBN-10: 1451684754 ISBN-13: 978-1451684759 Rating: 4 Stars Genre: Mystery Age Recommendation: Adult
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I liked the story, but I would prefer to reads books that don't use the F--- word. I don't mind a little language in a book, but the F--- word turns me off, writers should be able to tell a story without using that vulgar word. The chapter by Mary Higgins Clark was my favorite. She can tell a great story without using vulgar language. I have read all her books and they are great reading.