No Rest for the Dead
It starts with the execution of Rosemary Thomas for the heinous murder of her art dealer husband, Christopher. We then read about the events leading up to the murder: Christopher's philandering, money problems, and a systematic operation of stealing and selling expensive paintings. We see the obsessed cop bring the guilty party to justice, then have second thoughts.
Maybe he missed something, maybe he didn't fully investigate some of the variables. Ten years after state of California has executed Rosemary, the cast gathers for a memorial. The now ex-cop is still on the trail of a murderer while a shadowy figure lurks in the background, threatening several individuals if the truth is revealed? Will the truth finally be told? What really happened that fateful night so long ago?
The plot is basic and nothing unique. It's a straight rehash of numerous ancestors. There's a twist, but it's not really unexpected or surprising.
Joe Nunn – Investigating officer. The case is his downfall. He drinks, loses his wife, and his job. The case never really leaves his thoughts for over a decade.
Peter Huesen – Rosemary's alcoholic brother who got rich with trust fund money when his sister was executed. Money and booze are his life.
Christopher Thomas – curator at the art museum. Philanderer. Deals in stolen art. All around dirtbag.
Stan Ballard – Lawyer, married Nunn’s ex wife.
Haile Patchett – Cohort of Christopher's. After the murder, she is reduced to being a pickpocket.
Hank Zacharius – Reporter who always believed in rosemary's innocence but was disgraced because his superiors thought he went too far.
Standard characters with their own lives. Each is affected by the death of Rosemary, usually in a depressing way. It's a story full of Shakespearean tragedy with nobody really coming out a winer.
Straightforward. Nothing exciting. A little heat in the action scenes.
I've read a few other multiple author collaborations and they're okay, but not really exciting. The authors do a good job of trying to write a story with one voice. Unfortunately, a lot of the energy is lost. One of the reasons readers enjoy certain authors is they like that person's style. They know what to expect (usually) when they pick up a certain book. Similarly, they won't read specific authors because of the way that person writes his/her stories. This is okay. Everybody has personal tastes. But that's why you choose certain one author over another, to enjoy a particular writing style. When you get a collaboration such as this massive project was (26 authors), you lose the individuality and some of the enjoyment.