Too Soon Dead by Michael Kurland
Titan Books (November 2015)
320 pages; $12.95 paperback; ebook $7.99
Reviewed by Peter Tomas
Michael Kurland’s little misadventure, Too Soon Dead, is a wild goose chase of moderately restricted proportions. Columnist Alexander Brass and his small team, when approached by a rather large man with some very interesting pictures (whom also happens into quite a bind later) run from here to there, asking questions, being profound, finding corpses and making witty remarks. They discover all kinds of interesting things about individuals involved in government during their exploratory run, and in the end, uncover a conspiracy that could have very well led to a disaster.
While it’s all good fun, it felt as though there was a lack of essential panic, of potential hanging disaster, of that edge-of-your-seat tension that makes stories like this so ridiculously immersive. Brass himself, DeWitt (the main character), and almost every other character that is presented to the reader all indulge in sharp, intelligent, and oftentimes sarcastic humor. The exchanges between DeWitt and many of the people he met left me in giggling fits. The descriptions were all in place, and it was a simply-worded and pleasant story to read.
However, on occasion, the story would wander, or the reader would be introduced to a whole jumbled pile of information with no relevance to the story entirely out of the blue. It would oftentimes tangent and depart from the original plot, ending up somewhere far outside of its anticipated parameters, and these tangents left me confused once or twice. This was the most prominent issue I encountered; more than the majority of the story was largely enjoyable, and I was very glad to have had the opportunity to read it.