15 February 2011

Review: D-E-D DEAD! Geoffrey McGeachin

Published by Viking (Penguin Group)2005
ISBN 0-670-02931-9
283 pages
Source: Local Library

From the back cover:
From the moment Alby drops his gun on a St. Kilda tram he knows he is in for a bad day. Then his partner Harry is gunned down in a Double Bay coffee shop. By lunchtime Alby realises someone wants him dead - and they want him dead now.

My take:

Alby Murdoch is a famous photographer working for WorldPix International, a front for an Australian ultra-secret government department  D-E-D, the Department for Extra-territorial Defence. He and his partner Harry are supposed to be doing the biannual positive vetting on US personnel at Bitter Springs, a US-Australian Joint Defence Facility out in the middle of nowhere. Harry it seems found something wrong with the CIA's list of 300 names and dates of birth of people working at the Springs.

On the surface D-E-D DEAD! has all the hallmarks of a conventional spy thriller - assassins, bombs, car chases, and the obligatory beautiful female CIA agent. But the irreverent and comedic treatment that emerges at times shows that it is a spoof. Alby and his new friend Mary Travers flee to Bali and hitch a boat ride to Broome.

An unconventional and enjoyable read if you don't mind a bit of Australian laconic humour and slang mixed into your thriller. Not entirely my cup of tea, but I still rated it at 4.4.

McGeachin's first novel, FAT, FIFTY & F***ED! won the inaugural Australian Popular Fiction Competition and was published by Penguin in August 2004.

D-E-D DEAD! introduced Alby Murdoch and was nominated for a Ned Kelly Award.
It was followed by SENSITIVE NEW AGE SPY in 2007, also nominated for a Ned Kelly Award.
In 2009 #3 DEAD AND KICKING was published.

I am including D-E-D DEAD! in my list for this year's Aussie Author Challenge

3 comments:

Margot Kinberg said...

Kerrie - This sounds interesting. Not the sort of thing I usually read, but it might be worth giving it a try...

Margaret @ BooksPlease said...

Not the sort I usually read either, but sounds good for a change.

I've just posted about when I began reading crime fiction following on from your post on that topic.

Bev Hankins said...

I'm not usually into to thrillers, but this is set in the same area as the Kerry Greenwood series (I almost chose her as my letter G). It might be interesting to compare the two.

Here's my G: http://myreadersblock.blogspot.com/2011/02/alphabet-in-crime-fiction-letter-g.html

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