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Dead Man by Joe Gores
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Dead Man (1994)

by Joe Gores

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This is about as different from Gores' somewhat lighthearted DKA Associates novels as anything could be. A man, left for dead by two hit men, sets out to avenge the murders of his wife and child, who weren't so lucky. But while it has some incredible individual scenes, an almost epic scope, and some nerve-wracking suspense, it doesn't quite all hang together. The opening scenes are too syrupy as Gores describes the perfect romance between private eye Eddie Dain and his wife, leading up to the inevitable tragedy. Thankfully he doesn't linger too long on its details. As the book shifts gears and turns into a novel of revenge instead of a sappy love story, there are a few too many weak plot points and the story meanders on and on as it runs its course to a series of climaxes that eventually resolve all the book's mysteries. The characters are all interesting and are given a lot of fascinating things to do--but none of them, even the protagonist Eddie Dain, is completely believable. It can take its place, along with Robert Edmond Alter's Swamp Sister, as one of the great swamp novels, however. Your mileage may vary! ( )
  datrappert | Jun 6, 2012 |
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Eddie Dain changes from a peaceful, happy husband, father, and small-time private investigator from San Francisco to a blood-thirsty criminal hunter with superhuman skills after he is gunned down and then reassembled by doctors.

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