Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Prime Suspects--A Clone Detective Mystery, by Jim Bernheimer


Right off the bat I knew I was going to at least like this tale – after all who doesn’t like clones? Written by one of my favorite indie authors, Jim Bernheimer, Prime Suspects – a Clone Detective Mystery exceeded even my very high expectations. 

The story opens when homicide detective David Bagini awakens on a strange world in a hospital. Gradually he realizes he is a clone.  Having no memories of why his Prime (Dave #1) entered into a clone contract, he wants answers.  Told in the first person, we follow Dave as he has a very rude awakening when he realizes that despite his memories, he is a clone. To make matters worse, he finds he is the 42nd clone in Bagini line. Then, he meets Daves 16 and 29, and things get both interesting and hilarious. 

It turns out is his Prime has been murdered and Bagini Forty-Two is now in charge of the investigation. Despite having a head full of the memories of cases and police procedures, this is actually Dave42’s first real case.

Dave 42 soon learns the only reason he was created is because all the clues point at one of his 41 fellow clones having done the murder, and they needed one viable clone that they knew without a shadow of a doubt couldn’t possibly have done the murder.

This is bad, because all 41 Daves already know all his tricks and know exactly how he thinks, better than he does. Dave 42 will have to think up something they would not expect.

This is a gritty, grown-up tale about gritty grown-up people. It is a uniquely told tale of murder, mayhem, and misbehaving which had me hooked from page one. Of course, battling clones of himself provides ample opportunity for circular reasoning and much of the introspection Bernheimer’s heroes are famous for.  I loved the dark, at times sleazy characters and situations which populate this tale.

All in all, I give this book a full 5 stars for providing me with one of the best reads of this fall!  I liked it so well, I bought book one of his Dead Eye series. I can't wait to get started!

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