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Chasing the Dead is British author Tim Weaver’s debut thriller and the first book in his David Raker series. Chasing the Dead revolves around the death and reappearance of a boy called Alex Towne. Alex was found dead in a car wreck and was identified from dental records. One year later, his mother sees him down the street. As he’s been positively identified as dead it makes no sense for him to be roaming the streets living and breathing. Convinced it wasn’t a ghost she saw, however, Alex’s mum gets in touch with David Raker – a private investigator.
David is still grieving the loss of his wife, Derryn, who died of cancer a year earlier, when Mary Towne appears at his front door. Connected through his late wife, Mary tells him about what she’d seen, begging him to help her. Reluctant to take on the job, he eventually agrees to go back through the files and to try to figure out what had happened to Alex before his death and if he could still be alive.
Doubtful about what Mary believes to have seen, former journalist David Raker goes on to put together a sequence of events before Alex’s death and in doing so, kicks a hornet’s nest he couldn’t have anticipated.
Although slow at the beginning, Tim Weaver’s novel quickly picks up speed a third into the novel as you get to know David Raker, his past and the challenge that awaits him trying to figure out the truth about Alex. The thriller is well written and as soon as you think you’ve figured out the truth, Weaver throws another curve ball, changing the course of the novel. It’s a brilliant debut and although some parts are slow, his characters are interesting and complex and the story has a good flow, becoming a page turner, demanding the reader’s attention.
Chasing the Dead is only the first book in the David Raker series, but as a fan of the likes of Karin Slaughter, Patricia Cornwell and James Patterson, it is certainly one that I’m excited about and is one that I’d recommend to anyone looking for a new crime novelist.