By Joel Hames
Kindle edition available from Amazon UK (27 May 2015)
A prisoner who doesn't exist.
A lawyer who doesn't care.
A secret buried for thirty years.
Sam Williams' idea of an important decision is whether to have another kebab for lunch. He's spent ten years running away from other people's pain, and he's learned not to look back. Sam needs a client, and for a human rights lawyer with a flexible conscience and an impatient landlord, a high security prison seems a decent bet to find one. But now the bodies are mounting up, the decisions are getting serious, and the pain isn't someone else's any more.
Someone wants him dead, the police would like a word, and there's nowhere left in London to hide. If Sam wants to stay alive, he's going to have to stop running and figure out why.
Sam Williams could have been a hot shot lawyer until his career went pear shaped. Now, he's trudging through life with a fear of commitment and taking cases from the dregs of society - whatever he can find to make some money. But this changes when an incident in a high security prison throws his life into turmoil.
The Art of Staying Dead is a well-planned thriller full of conspiracy, politics, murder and violence. The highly descriptive plot sucks you straight into the action from the first page. After the first chapter, the plot then slows down and the story gradually unfolds, leading to several twists and a satisfying conclusion.
Since the book is written in the first person, you get right into Sam's thoughts and feelings, which makes the story come alive. Unlike other protagonists in books with a similar theme, Sam isn't a natural action hero. He can be pretty clueless and disorganised at times, and his thoughts generally run away with him. This means that the writing can be a little wordy in places, but it fits in well with his character.
If you enjoy action thrillers, with political intrigue and a slightly more masculine feel, then this is an ideal book for you.