Thursday, July 19, 2012

A Black Deeper Than Death by M.E. Purfield

Title: A Black Deeper Than Death
Series: Miki Radicci
Author: M.E. Purfield
Length: 2690 Kindle units
Rating: 4 stars

The Plot

Miki Radicci has a pretty good life as a wealthy artist and independent minor. The only trouble is that she has the power to read minds, and even alcohol and Xanax can’t quite numb the pain. Then one night, a college student is murdered in her vicinity, and Miki feels every knife wound like she was the victim, with the scars to prove it. Unable to dismiss the experience, Miki begins to investigate the secret life of the seemingly straight-laced woman, but this may end up putting her in even more danger.

The Good

A Black Deeper than Death was a good read over all. It is a fairly standard story of a murdered college girl who had a secret life in the porn industry, with the twist that our budding heroine has the power to read minds.  It reminded me of a Veronica Mars episode in a lot of ways, which is a compliment of the highest order coming from me, with Miki always trying to outsmart the people around her while carrying an assortment of false IDs.

I enjoyed the aspect of Miki being an independent minor (her parents were con artists) but still building a family around herself. She lived with her grandfather, who didn’t always approve of her but loved her anyway, and her friend Corey, who otherwise would have been out on the street.

There are also some indications of an overarching mythology involving a mysterious figure that appears in Miki’s visions and paintings that I would definitely like to know more about.

The Bad

If you are a hero or heroine in a mystery novel, there may come a day when you know crucial information that connects murders. At this point in time, you may ask yourself, “Should I tell the police what I know?” The answer is YES. It is always yes. You should always tell the police this information rather than investigate the issue until you have proof. Because the police are trained to deal with these kinds of situations. They have guns and Kevlar. You probably do not. Sadly, this is not a lesson that anyone taught Miki, and I consequently spent more time yelling at my ipad screen than I wanted to while reading this book.

My other issue with A Black Deeper Than Death is that I didn’t really like Miki all that much. Her life was pretty gritty, with her going out and getting drunk and passing out on the street. (She also took some black market Lexapro, which mostly just made me wonder why anyone would do that. Because you’d have to take a hell of a lot for it to have an effect, and that effect would most likely be sleeping. Plus, you can get a prescription for it easily, and it’s a $4 generic.) The thing is, though, that she’s rich, and I find myself asking why someone would want to have a gritty life if they were rich. It’s like voluntarily becoming Lindsay Lohan. Sure, other people’s emotions invade her mind, but wouldn’t a better solution be to become a hermit?

The Romance

If I were Miki, I would be hesitant to meet any new boys while investigating a murder mystery. Especially when I’m getting creepy calls from the killer, so anyone I seem to randomly meet could actually BE the killer stalking me. (Dun, dun, DUN) But Miki is braver than I, and she meets a boy named Chris at the first victim’s funeral and discovers that he is perfect for her. Meanwhile, she is also crushing on Officer Samson who is investigating the murder case, even though she’s only 16 and he’s like 30. A little flirting in this situation wouldn’t be too creepy, would it?

Will I read more?

I’m relatively indifferent to whether I read more of the story. It was interesting and well-written enough, and I would like to see where the threads left open at the end of the story go. But I also didn’t love it enough to be desperate for the next one. So take that as a recommendation or not, as you choose.

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