Killing a Dead Man by Siobhian R. Hodges, is the story of Jordan Richardson, the twin brother of Danny, a ‘spirited’ spirit if there ever was one. It is no spoiler to tell you Danny was murdered because that incident forms the gist of the engrossing tale. As the result of his twin brother’s murder, Jordan gained the ability to interact with the supernatural. Growing frustration, as the police fail to find the killer, pushes Jordan into a singular quest to find his brother’s murderer. Jordan is fixated, for lack of a better term, on solving his brother’s murder. Mundane humans think Jordan is crazy, and his reaction to non-believers seesaws between anger and despair. Jordan can interact with Danny, but Danny controls those interactions.
Sympathizing with Jordan was an up and down carnival ride. In some ways, Jordan was difficult to bear. His obstinance was palpable but understandable based on his life dealing with non-believers, doctors drugging him, and general bullying from classmates. The only thing about the story that strained my credulity was the patience of Mr. Butch, the cab driver. No matter the lies, the silence, the misdirections, the unfulfilled promises, etc etc from Jordan, the man was ….. well, read the book.
Siobhian R. Hodges has a welcome ability to put into words the thoughts of a person ostracized by a society that interprets otherworldly abilities as abnormal ravings of a tortured mind. Jordan Richardson definitely has a tortured mind, blaming himself for his brother’s death. In order to help the reader understand the background of Jordan’s feelings, Hodges includes several chapters with past history detailing the activities of Jordan and Danny which led to Danny’s murder.
The story flows well, building to a satisfying conclusion. It is well edited and the words and references to British culture are easily understandable. The book held my interest and was a pleasant read. I found myself experiencing the frustrations of Jordan as he coped with supernatural forces that his living companions couldn’t perceive. I wanted him to succeed.
I rate the book, Killing a Dead Man, as an overall 5 out of 5.
– Sam B. Miller II