It is always hard to know exactly how to rate a book like this. Is this comparable to The Great Gatsby or Look Homeward Angel? Of course not, but this book set out to be entertaining and had no pretensions to be a literary masterpiece. I decided on four stars because it accomplished exactly what it promised to be.
First, the title is awesome. Death by Fiction caught my attention. I had this dream one time that one of my towering bookshelves loaded with hardcover books fell on me and a Harlequin Romance that I had used to wedge the shelf landed in my outstretched hand. I woke the next morning thinking how embarrassing for my kids to forever think that their father was secretly a Harlequin Romance reader. In the words of Seinfeld "not that there is anything wrong with that". I try not to be snobby about books and generally am glad that people who read are reading regardless of what they choose to read. My point being, that dream could have easily been in this book. Death by Bookshelf.
I must warn you this book does not come with page numbers. When I first noticed I thought huh odd, but no big deal. As I progressed through the book I realized that it did bother me. I like knowing my progress in a book. I am a semi-professional reader and know how long it takes me in general to read say 50 pages. It was disconcerting at times not to know how many pages I had left to read. I feel oddly neurotic taking issue with this.
The plot had some nice twists and turns. Lister did a good job of putting flesh on the bone of his characters. He gave me back story and yet never bogged me down with details not relating to the plot.
There were three explicit sex scenes one involving a cell phone that I will leave to your imagination. The scenes were graphic, revealed information that tied back into the plot, and tightly described. Lister showed restraint, sex scenes, frankly get boring and seem to unwind if they go on for too many pages.
If you are looking for a quick, satisfying read between heavier books Death by Fiction fits the bill.