Thought You Were Dead by Terry Griggs. Biblioasis, 2009.
Chellis Beith hasn’t had an easy life. Deserted by his mother on the counter of Lloyd’s Burger Stand in a Sorrell boot box, he was adopted by the quirky Rennie. Now Rennie has deserted him too, walking out of his life forever when she prematurely buys the farm in a motorcycle accident. And then there is the love of his life, Elaine, his ex-next-door-neighbour who married someone else and just wants to be ‘friends’.
Chellis stumbled into his occupation by accident. He is a literary researcher for a popular mystery writer. Normally, Chellis’s job isn’t too demanding, leaving him lots of time to loaf and hang out with his pal Hunt. Quite suddenly, Chellis’s life takes a turn for the weird. His employer, Mrs. Havlock has disappeared. Then Hunt is hospitalized with a heart attack. Then, his long-lost half-sister, someone he never had any inkling even existed, shows up on his doorstep. Then, his birth mother waltzes into his life. And where is Mrs. Havlock anyway?
There is a fun storyline behind Thought You Were Dead, and a satisfying ending. However, it is the witty, unrelenting banter that drives this novel. While the storyline tends to falter under the weight of the dialogue, there’s no skipping pages to see what happens. You’d miss too much fun!
The dialogue has a little hiccup when Chellis reflects “It was his impression that the general populace could care less about their forebears and would be only too happy to be shot of their present family.”
What? What? Could care less? If this seems okay to you, you need to drop by Grammarian’s site and read I Could Care Less.
However, things pick up a few pages later when Chellis is stopped by a cop who returns his wallet:
“That’s why I was following you, to give it back. And to check for a body in the trunk. Suzie said you were acting suspicious. Impersonating a detective, for one thing.”
The little prick. “I was suspicious, I’ll be wanting to count my cash. Or do you mean, suspiciously?” Save the Adverb. “I do sometimes act that way. Girls like it.”
Aha. Addressing the Ly unemployment rate. Gotta love it.