In introducing No Rest for the Dead, David Baldacci said, "The lineup of writers who have contributed to this mystery is akin to the Murderers' Row of the 1927 New York Yankees." He's right. Twenty-six authors, including Jeffery Deaver, Tess Gerritsen, Jeff Lindsay, Kathy Reichs, and Jonathan Santlofer joined forces with editors Andrew F. Gulli and Lamia J. Gulli to tell one story.
Former homicide detective Jon Nunn introduces the story, ten years after Rosemary Thomas' execution for her husband's murder. And, although Nunn's testimony helped send her to death row, he's not convinced she actually killed her husband. After Rosemary's death, Nunn's obsession with the case cost him his job and his marriage. So, when the invitation arrives from a board member at San Francisco's McFall Art Museum to attend a memorial service a decade after Thomas' execution, Nunn is eager to see all the players back in one place.
The book is divided into two parts. The 1998 section tells the story of the crumbling marriage between Rosemary Thomas and her cheating, crooked husband, Christopher, curator at the McFall Art Museum. Each author adds a little bit more to the story, revealing Christopher's schemes and character, leading up to his disappearance and the discovery of the decaying body in a Berlin museum. While Nunn investigates, he grows to like Rosemary, but can do nothing when all evidence points to her guilt.
Ten years later, the detective has lost everything but his conviction that an innocent woman was executed. When the board president invites all the players back to the museum for a memorial service, the stage is set for a final confrontation. But, remember, this is a book written by twenty-six of the prominent authors in the crime fiction business. There will be a number of surprising twists before the reader learns what really happened to Christopher Thomas.
I was surprised at how well this story worked with twenty-six writers. And, at times, their distinct styles were very evident, particularly in the first half of the book. Some of the authors created much more readable episodes than others. As a fan of cold cases, I particularly appreciated the second half of the book in which the characters looked back at the case from a ten-year perspective. I found Marcus Sakey's concluding chapter a little outrageous, but, considering the characters, even that fit in the story. And, Jon Nunn's diary entries served to tie the story together.
Looking for a fast-paced, intriguing mystery for a quick summer read? No Rest for the Dead should serve nicely. And, proceeds from the book benefit the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.
No Rest for the Dead. Simon & Schuster. ©2011. ISBN 9781451607376 (hardcover), 272p.
FTC Full Disclosure - The publisher sent me a review copy of the book, hoping I would review it.