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Blame the Dead – Ed Ruggero

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“If you’d have asked me yesterday if he was capable of murder, I’d have said no…Today I’m not so sure.”

Set during World War II, we follow Eddie Harkins, a former Philadelphia cop currently a Military Police lieutenant.

“We’ve turned this place into a shithole…”

He’s stationed at the 11th Field Hospital in Sicily and when Dr Myers Stephenson ends up dead, he’s the only one who’s able to investigate.

Despite never performing as a detective, he must investigate this murder – and quickly.

“You got a stomach bug?” Drake asked.
“No, I…I’ve never seen a murder victim before,”

But with everyone seeming to team up against him, with the suspects multiplying by the hour, and his deadline to solve the murder coming every closer…this might just be the one case that gets away.

So.

Soooo.

Soooooooo.

Right off the bat, if you are looking for a take on the historical accuracy of this book – do NOT look at me. I typically don’t read war books or historical fiction, so I really haven’t a clue how accurate this is.

(Though, as a note: to me – as someone who is NOT familiar with the timeframe that this took place in – I think it was a little odd that the Military Police lieutenant was told to investigate a murder despite having no experience.

Other reviews kind of get into this so they’d be where you’d want to go.)

As for the actual story….ehh…it just didn’t gel with me.

I was rather intrigued by this book at the beginning – the way the doctor died, the ever-increasing pool of suspects and the timeframe were all interesting to me.

I was curious regarding who did it but the more I read, the more my enthusiasm disappeared.

It took a lonnnnng time to ramp up this story and while the ending was super-snappy, it just didn’t balance out compared to the setup.

I think what mostly threw me out of the book was way the book had a one-track mind about rape and sex.

Like this:

“How could a broad get that angry over getting her ass pinched?”

and this:

“Were you a virgin when you joined the army?”

And this:

“Grab-ass was acceptable, though? Professionally, I mean.”

I feel like some authors really use rape as a pivotal plot point that really makes the audience feel it and its rippling effects (see Bear Town by Fredrik Backman – A single instance completely and utterly changed my outlook on the book).

And other authors just use rape (or assault) (or repressing women’s rights) over and over and over to the point where it doesn’t make an impact to the reader anymore – to the point where it just becomes background noise.

Again, I don’t know how historically accurate this book was, but there was so much emphasis put on the rapes and assaults that (as a reader) I was numb before I even got halfway through the book.

Overall, I think this book has a lot of potential…I’m just probably not the right audience for it.

I received a free copy of BLAME THE DEAD by Ed Ruggero from Macmillan in exchange for a honest review

3 thoughts on “Blame the Dead – Ed Ruggero

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