An Unfinished Death

An Unfinished Death

3.6 28
by Laurel Dewey

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Raves for Protector:“A great novel and a fabulous mystery.” – Mysterious Reviews“A unique, entertaining, emotionally powerful, deftly crafted, highly recommended work.” – Midwest Book ReviewAnd for Redemption:“I took my time reading this book, actually savoring every page as it is possibly the best book I have read


Raves for Protector:“A great novel and a fabulous mystery.” – Mysterious Reviews“A unique, entertaining, emotionally powerful, deftly crafted, highly recommended work.” – Midwest Book ReviewAnd for Redemption:“I took my time reading this book, actually savoring every page as it is possibly the best book I have read in a couple years.” – TCM Reviews“I loved it and can’t wait for book three.” – Armchair InterviewsLaurel Dewey’s Detective Jane Perry is quickly becoming one of the most distinctive, dynamic, and unforgettable characters in suspense fiction today. She’s rock hard, but capable of extraordinary tenderness. She’s a brilliant cop, but she’s capable of making life-altering mistakes. She’s uncannily talented, and she’s heartbreakingly human.In this novella, set before the action in Dewey’s first novel, Protector, a man named Devinder Bashir reaches across the threshold of the hereafter to ask for Jane’s help. When Jane investigates his case, she learns that the man died ignominiously, but not suspiciously. But when Bashir continues to haunt her dreams, she realizes that the story of the man’s death is far from finished.

Product Details

Story Plant
Publication date:
Jane Perry Mysteries Series
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Product dimensions:
5.70(w) x 8.10(h) x 0.40(d)

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Jane wasn’t sure how long she’d been there, or how she got to this place. The last thing she remembered was finishing off a fifth of Jack Daniels with her younger brother, Mike. It was around 1:00 A.M. and they were still at her house after a three-day bender over the President’s Day holiday weekend. As she recalled, she’d sucked the last drag of nicotine from her cigarette, crushed the empty pack and attempted a bank shot into the wastebasket across the room. But that was her last memory before she awoke into this odd scene.

There she was &ndash sitting alone in a high-back wicker chair on a pristine, wraparound porch that extended out from what appeared to be one of those ancient Colorado sanitariums where people went to recuperate from TB or pneumonia. She looked down at her clothes, expecting to see a hospital gown to go along with the clinical setting. Instead, she wore her standard blue jeans, poplin shirt, leather jacket, and roughout cowboy boots. She could feel the butt of her Glock biting into her rib cage. She swore she’d been clad in her Denver Broncos sweatshirt and sweatpants just minutes before catapulting into this unsettling shift in scenery.

Good God. In all her years of heavy drinking, Jane had never hallucinated. And now, here she was &ndash right in the middle of one hell of a disturbing delusion that felt a little too real.

She noted how heavy her hands felt against the wicker armrests. Her feet, in turn, hung like lead on the white-planked porch. As she gazed forward, she suddenly noticed the exquisite expanse of trimmed grass that seemed to roll for miles into the aqua sky. The air smelled sweet, like spring when life in Colorado comes alive after months of winter’s death and dormancy. The scent of blooming lilacs and sweet daffodils created an intoxicating perfume that calmed and caressed her senses.

Not 40 feet in front of Jane, a lone East Indian in his mid-forties unexpectedly appeared in the middle of the grass. He stared at her for a minute before cocking his head to the side and waving. She told her body to stand up, but somehow the message didn’t reach the correct part of her brain because she stayed inexplicably frozen to the wicker chair. The man climbed the seven steps that led to the porch and rested his lean body against the railing in front of her. The persistent woody scent of sandalwood enveloped him, an outward signature that seemed to herald his appearance. His smile was warm and genuine, his demeanor gentle and kind.

“Jane … Jane Perry?” he stated, almost as if he was reading her name on an invisible card that floated above her head.

Jane nodded. For some reason, speaking was difficult. The heaviness grew more profound in her body. What in the hell is happening?

He extended his hand. “Devinder Bashir.” Jane lifted her leaden hand off the armrest and shook his hand. He held onto it, his grasp reading her thoughts. “How very odd,” Devinder said in a faraway tone.

Jane tensed. She struggled to force out two words. “What’s odd?”

“You still have the weight of the world.” His eyebrows furrowed. “You’re not dead yet.”

Jane slammed back into her thirty five-year-old, aching body. She opened her eyes and sat up in bed. “Holy Shit!” she sputtered, her heart racing. Her Denver Broncos shirt was soaked in acrid sweat. Pressing her palm to her forehead, she attempted to assuage the relentless throbbing that bore into her skull. Jane felt halfway outside of herself, as she rolled off her bed and stumbled down the hallway to the living room. She found her brother, Mike, on the couch. He was right where she had left him just five minutes before. But a quick glance of the clock showed that five hours had passed. This makes no damn sense. Jane steadied herself on the kitchen counter, while another wave of excruciating pain rippled across her temples. This was unlike any hangover she’d ever experienced.

“You’re not dead yet,” the Indian man who called himself Devinder Bashir told her.

“Yet,” Jane whispered, as an uneasy shock traversed her spine.

Is this even real? she questioned herself. Or is this a freakish extension of the dream?

She lunged toward her sleeping brother, impatiently tugging on his shirt. He stirred briefly before starting to turn away, but Jane pulled him back toward her. “Mike! Wake up! Goddamnit! Wake up!”

Mike grimaced. He unhinged one eye to focus. “What the fuck time is it, Janie?”

“Six o’clock.”

“Fuck me. Wake me up at 11:00.”

Jane grabbed his shoulders with urgency, shaking him. “Mike! Wake the fuck up!”
Now, he was pissed. Well, as pissed as Mike Perry could be &ndash which was more like what bothered looked like with most people. “What, Janie?”

“Slap me.”

“I don’t wanna slap you.”

“Mike, I’m not kidding. I need you to slap me.” Mike made a weak attempt that resembled brushing a hair off his sister’s face rather than a smack. “Fuck,” Jane mumbled, still feeling outside of her body. “Mike, I mean it, if you don’t slap me hard, I’m cutting off your beer!”

That got his attention. He landed a good cuff across his sister’s left cheek.
Jane shook off the sting and let out a satisfied breath. “Okay. I’m not dead.”

“You’re not dead?” Mike sat up. “Jesus, Janie. If you’re geeked up on meth, at least cut me in on some.”

“I’m not doing meth, Mike! It interferes with my job description.”

“Could’ve fooled me, Detective. What time is it again?”

Jane sensed the unfinished seam of another reality that was still wide open.

“Time for a drink.”

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An Unfinished Death 3.6 out of 5 based on 1 ratings. 28 reviews.
Steve Latta More than 1 year ago
I had just finished "Protector", which I loved, so I thought I'd give this one a shot. At just 38 pages, it doesn't give enough background to understand the Jane Perry character and she just comes across as wierd. Read "Protector" first and this will make a lot more sense.
VoraciousReaderEG More than 1 year ago
According to the author's website, "An Unfinished Death" is the first of three novella collections that will be released featuring her Jane Perry character. I love that idea. Sure, I adore Dewey's novels in the Jane Perry series, but getting little tidbits of Jane Perry between novel releases feeds my addiction to Dewey's work. In this first release, (which is a PRE-QUEL to the first novel in the series, PROTECTOR), Jane's alcohol addiction is paramount and through that haze, she travels to a kind of middle ground where people who have been killed or died suddenly await their ascension. There she meets Devinder Bashir, a kind Indian man who was thought to have committed suicide but that's not the case. Working with Jane on an unconscious level, he seeks to redeem his death and bring the people to justice who did him in. One of the reasons I'm hooked on Laurel Dewey's work is that she has taken the crime thriller and put a great spin on it by infusing it with mysticism and esoteric principles. It's not heavy handed but if you are intrigued by what lies on the other side of the veil, I think you'll love her books and short stories. She has also masterfully created a main character in Detective Jane Perry who is smart, tough, damaged, frustrating and never boring. If rough language bothers you, then this is not for you. But it doesn't bother me when it fits the character and/or circumstance of the story. This is truly a wonderful, quick read that you can add to your collection of Laurel Dewey's work. She is one writer to watch because she's going to be huge.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
38 pages you've got to be kidding me!. I love this author but wth?
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Enjoy this author. Also am very much enjoying the development of Jane Perrys' character. Glad i read this after the Protector otherwise it wouldn't have made as much sense. Jane is so darn lovable. Can't wait to read her 3rd novel. I enjoyed this short novelette!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A short story (38 pages) that moves along at a good pace. Policewoman Jane Perry is a hard drinker and chain smoker who solves a murder that had been made to look like suicide. A good read with good characterizations.
Annie-B More than 1 year ago
After reading ratings/review of Dewey's Jane Perry series, I decided to read this first, knowing it was written last, but is actually a prequel to the series. I thought it proceeded at a nice clip and kept my interest, until everything got wrapped up in a couple of pages. This could have been a great short story, and an even better novella, if not for that hurry-up summary at the end that really kind of cheats the reader. Still, it piqued my interest and I went on to read The Protector.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed the book very much and its main character Jane Perry. I have read several of the books featuring Jane and find her somewhat mystical quality or aura an added bonus.
portiat More than 1 year ago
if you like novels about female detectives this a diffent read!
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I really like Laurel Dewey novels. Jane is a great character, even though she has more issues than most people. This quick little story was excellent. I hope Dewey does more of these in the future.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Very interesting
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Good short story.
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