Dead on Demand by Sean and Dan Campbell is an interesting thriller that follows both the protagonist, DCI David Morton, and the antagonist, Edwin Murphy. Interestingly enough, it mainly focuses on Edwin as he haphazardly puts together a chain of murders over the internet. As Edwin spins his web, DCI Morton is left to try and solve a string of seemingly random murders with no connection.
Why does Edwin start recruiting random strangers to kill other random strangers? Is it for money? For the thrill of it? Does he have some insatiable bloodlust? No. He wants to kill his estranged wife who plans to divorce him and take his daughter overseas. In order to do so without being caught, he decides to place an ad on the dark web where he offers to trade kills with someone else. That’s right – he’ll kill their target if they kill his.
Of course, Edwin has no intention of following through with his side of the deal. Instead, he then hires out another random stranger to kill his counterpart’s target in exchange for another promised kill. And so the game continues as Edwin tries to distance himself as much as he can from his wife’s murder.
Throughout Edwin’s murder spree, DCI Morton looks into some of the deaths. He has no idea they’re related, which makes solving them an almost impossible task. Part of the problem is that some of the deaths occur well out of DCI Morton’s jurisdiction and, because there is seemingly no connection, he isn’t even aware of them.
That’s what I found so interesting about this book: the focus on the villain while the protagonist is essentially left in the dark throughout the book. Morton can scarcely investigate a serial killer when there is no connection between the deaths and the murders themselves are carried out by other people.
For that reason alone, I would highly recommend checking this book out. Not only is it different from many of the thriller/mystery books out there, but it’s also FREE on Amazon. I really enjoyed the unique twist to the genre this book had to offer and definitely look forward to checking the others in the series out, too.
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