Wednesday, September 25

Review: Dead Peasants by Dustin Stevens

This is the second book in the Zoo Crew series by Dustin Stevens. I was contacted by the author and asked if I would like to read the book in return for an honest review. The author said this could be read as a stand alone novel although some of the characters had appeared in another book. I found this to be a fairly true statement. While reading, there were a couple of references made to things that happened prior, but I didn't feel like it overly detracted from this story. It made me mildly interested in what happened before, and I can see myself going back and reading the first one.

The book's Prologue explains the history of Bargain Mart. Who started it, how it came to be, and why it was successful in spite of itself. Basically the background of the "bad guy".  The first chapter starts us off with the couple who end up bringing the practice of the book's title to light.  We don't meet the main protagonist until chapter 2.

Drake Bell is a third year law student, finishing up the last of his required classes and working for a local Legal Aide office. It is partly through his thoughts and actions that resolution takes place.  I say partly because this wasn't a single POV story.  We jump from character POV to character POV, dependent on who is moving the story forward. It created an interesting read and really gave a wonderful over view of what was happening in the story.

The writing style very much reminded me of early Stuart Woods. If it weren't for the author's over use of the word "smirk" (27 times), I would have been hard pressed to realize that this was a self published novel. Drake and his group of friends and acquaintances all felt real and very down to earth. They felt like they could be someone you know. I think the author did a great job of keeping me interested and evoking the right emotional response where appropriate.  The imagery was excellent and I was on the edge of my seat during part of the book. I would read more from this author. My rating on Goodreads is 3 stars and can't wait to see where the he goes from here.

Bargain Mart, long a fixture in the Missoula economic structure, has fallen on hard times. Things are dire, and if a financial windfall doesn’t arrive soon, their doors will close.

Across town, a woman grieves her recently deceased husband. Sitting alone at her kitchen table trying to put her life back in order, a call arrives asking where his quarter million dollar life insurance policy should be sent. A quarter million dollar life insurance policy she never knew existed.

Answering the phone on the other end of her call for help is Drake Bell, third year law student at the University of Montana. Joined by his partner Ava, and his loyal friends the Zoo Crew, Drake must attempt to make sense of the case Alice presents him.

A case that only grows more complex as people continue to pass away in Missoula, all with ties to Bargain Mart, all with large life insurance policies attached to them. Policies known in the corporate world as Dead Peasants…

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  1. The writing style sounds good. I haven't heard of these so thanks for review

  2. Your welcome. I hope you get a chance to check it out and enjoy!


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