John Pellam had been in the trenches of filmmaking, with a promising Hollywood career - until tragedy sidetracked him. Now he's a location scout, travelling the country in search of shooting sites for films. But in a small town in upstate New York, Pellam's illusionary world is shattered by a savage murder, and he is suddenly centre stage in an unfolding drama of violence, lust and conspiracy in this less-than-picture-perfect locale.
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(177mm x 110mm x 23mm)
Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton General Division
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UK Kirkus Review »
With such distinguished thrillers as The Empty Chair to his credit, Deaver has made a considerable mark through his effortless synthesis of inspired plotting and needle-sharp characterization. Shallow Graves is Deaver in more restrained vein than usual, but it's none the worse for that. John Pellam has enjoyed a highly successful film-making career, but bad luck has forced him into the less rewarding role of locations scout, travelling the country in search of shooting sites for films. As he travels down the main streets in America, he's usually a popular figure in most towns, as the locals jostle for their 15 minutes of fame and town dignitaries make a pitch for the special delights of their area. In small town upstate New York, Pellam finds his life taking a disturbing path. He becomes involved in a gruesome murder, and scouting locations soon becomes the very least of his problems. As always with Deaver, dialogue - sharp, idiomatically observed and pithy - is the key to the appeal, and this is unquestionably the equal of his earlier thrillers; what makes this title such a winner is the understated metaphor of illusion versus reality, as Pellam finds that the dreams he trades in have little relation to the cold and savage authenticity of real life. (Kirkus UK)
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Book Review: Shallow Graves by Jeffery Deaver - Reviewed by CloggieA (12 Mar 2011)
Shallow Graves is the first of Jeffrey Deaver’s Location Scout novels. John Pellam is the location scout in question, and his job is to scout for suitable locations at which to shoot movies. He is doing just that in the small upstate New York town of Cleary when he is injured as a pedestrian and his assistant, researching a different location, dies when the gas tank of his hire car explodes. The speed of the “investigation” and the hasty disposal of the burnt car wreck cause Pellam to suspect foul play. The presence of bullet holes in the car body near the gas tank firm these suspicions. In the course of his own investigation, Pellam encounters a hippy, an attractive real estate agent, a pharmaceutical manufacturer, an apple fair, a junkyard, a jealous land developer, guns, drugs and quite a few fists at close range. Plenty of plot twists keep it exciting to the very end.
Author Biography - Jeffery Deaver
Jeffery Deaver is the award-winning author of two collections of short stories and 29 internationally bestselling novels, including the latest James Bond novel Carte Blanche. He is best known for his Lincoln Rhyme thrillers, which include the number one bestsellers The Vanished Man, The Twelfth Card and The Cold Moon, as well as The Bone Collector which was made into a feature film starring Denzel Washington and Angelina Jolie. The first Kathryn Dance novel, The Sleeping Doll, was published in 2007 to enormous acclaim. A three-time recipient of the Ellery Queen Reader's Award for Best Short Story of the year, he has been nominated for an Anthony Award and six Edgar Awards from the Mystery Writers of America. He won the WH Smith Thumping Good Read Award in 2001 and in 2004 won the Crime Writers' Association Steel Dagger for Best Thriller with Garden of Beasts, and their Short Story Dagger for The Weekender from Twisted. Jeffery Deaver lives in North Carolina and California. Visit his website, www.jefferydeaver.com, Facebook page, www.facebook.com/JefferyDeaver, and follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/JefferyDeaver.