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Deadbeat Makes You Stronger by Guy Adams

Old friends Max Jackson and Tom Harris used to be actors. Now Tom owns a jazz club called Deadbeat, where the pair are often to be found of night, propping up the bar and setting the world to rights. 

One such night, as they stumble home, they come across a group of men loading a coffin into the back of a van. Even in their intoxicated haze, they wonder why someone would remove an occupied coffin from a churchyard at night, especially when said occupant is still breathing.

Still possessing a taste for the theatrical, Tom insists they investigate and drags poor Max along for the ride, as they scheme and blag their way into trouble. As they begin their investigations they start to uncover a horrifying plot as well as revealing to the reader their own secrets.

The whole story is so much fun. Even with the gory parts and the mystery, the prose is effortlessly slick and entertaining. Tom and Max are very amusing as narrators and I enjoyed their jesting, love-hate bromance of sorts. I also liked the motley crew of club workers and Tom’s gentleman friends the pair surrounded themselves with; some stupid, some clever, some strong, but all loyal and useful in their own way. 

I always love a London setting and with this tale; with the banter, gangsters and dark humour, it read like something Guy Ritchie would turn into a movie. After the story, there was a preview of book two, Deadbeat Dogs of Waugh and I really can’t wait to get my greedy little hands on it! Very witty and seriously cool, this is a unique detective story you should definitely try. 

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