Friday, January 4, 2013

Good Gladys ( Embrace the Dead ) by Martin Renaud

A murder mystery with a psychic twist. 

News reports that the famous psychic Good Gladys is missing coincide with the brutal stabbing of her business manager. Gladys's daughter Dara asks an old friend, private investigator Byrne Aase, to help find the murderer. She claims that the man the police have in custody is innocent. In fact, she believes that the accused is her mother, having been transformed into a man during a seance gone awry.GOODREADS

"She has no shame, " thought Sauce......... 

Sauce? yes, that is our protagonists name. It just seems like a really odd name. I think it was mentioned somewhere why he has that nickname but I didn't get it. or is it only because he drinks a lot. First impressions aside: you will love Sauce a.k.a Byrne Aase. 

The story is told from Sauce's POV. This whole book reminds me of one of those old school detective shows or are they games. There's a bunch of people in a house, there's a mystery and they have to solve it. I love those mysteries even if I have a tendency to blame the butler. Good Gladys reminds me of those kind of mysteries  because of the way the characters talked, the way Sauce investigated things and the overall development of the mystery. Together with the protagonist the reader finds clues and tries to figure things out. And when there's a random element thrown in the game like being brought to the governors house, and hearing said governor share his utmost conviction in a psychic who claims to be punished by God and sent back to do a selfless act. You as a reader are as shocked as Sauce. Although it felt like this in the beginning the mood suddenly changes halfway through the book and becomes more suspenseful and bloody.

I'd already chosen sides when I had read chapter one, when I got over the weird name thing. Sauce is this good guy, naive and gullible. He's like a puppy you find on the street, you just know you can't leave it there. That's how easily I got attached to Sauce. Then Dara, his ex shows up asking for his help. Dara is manipulative. In romance novels when the guy forces the girl to go shopping it's romantic but when Dara forces Sauce to go shopping, remodels his whole house. It's aggravating. Sauce's skepticism about the whole psychic thing seeps though the pages or maybe my skepticism  seeps into the book combines with Sauce's skepticism which makes it a really engaging read. Sauce gets curious about the case and gets involved. I had hoped he wouldn't, I had hoped he just wouldn't do what Dara wanted but then there wouldn't be a story.

The way the story unfolds is entertaining. It started to get really interesting when Sauce gets abducted by this crazy family of psychopaths.  Their kids were just excited when they were told they'd get to break Sauces fingers. Of course Sauce gets rescued and when he wakes up the mystery is just about solved.

The last chapters were ridiculous and unbelievable. You know Gladys is a fraud but there are all these people who believe in her ,who willingly allow themselves to be manipulated. Good Gladys the psychic claims on a talk-show to have met Adam and Eve. Claims to have been punished by God and that's why she's in a man's body. and the audience believes her. Sheep, they're all sheep. The one psychic who came back from the other side. Gladys is arrogant, annoying an manipulative. oh and she's also Dara. Turns out the real Gladys died and Dara has been impersonating her to keep the enterprise going.

This is different  from anything else I've read. It's a unique story and a entertaining one. The characters are funny and fascinating  next to Sauce I like the former secret agent, BT who helped Sauce on the investigation and Sauce's cop friend Hammi. I hated Dara because she was so manipulative and overbearing as was Gladys. Gladys sometimes reminded me of those religious people that come to your house. Although I disliked these characters they made the story moving (by this I mean I was annoyed and pissed at what they were doing. Those are emotions as well). 

I enjoyed this book and would love to read more about Sauce. The characterization is great, the writing is awesome. The mystery wasn't complicated and the revelation didn't surprise me. Although getting to know how Gladys tricked everybody was interesting, like finding out how a magician does his tricks. I'd definitely recommend this to anyone who loves a good old mystery book.


** I was asked to review this book by the author. He said it was a suspenseful, witty,fun and engaging book which it definitely is.


  1. I really think 'Sauce' is better than 'Byrne'. LOL. I'm glad the book made you feel so many emotions. The premise sounds pretty interesting. ;)

  2. thanks so much for stopping by. Think of the shelf space you'll save.



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