Dead Matter by Anton Strout
Simon Canderous, Book 3
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Format: Paperback, 336 pages
Published: February 23, 2010 by Ace
Received From: Penguin Group (USA)
When the paranormal raises its otherworldy head in New York City, the Department of Extraordinary Affairs executes a flawless, stick-the-landing smackdown. That’s the idea anyway, and Agent Simon Canderous can usually count on help from his mentor, Connor Christos. But Connor’s left Simon to handle a double case load as he cashes in on five years worth of saved vacation time. Simon suspects that Connor isn’t Club Medding so much as Club Deading it up—investigating the disappearance of his long lost brother.
Simon especially needs Connor when the spirit populace of Manhattan is shaken and stirred by someone intruding on their well-deserved R.I.P. But Connor’s relentless ghost whispering has sent him off the deep end; he’s haunted every night by visions of his brother’s ghost at his window. Simon’s partner may be going crazy—or worse, maybe he’s not...
Tiffany’s (Kindle Vixen) Ramblings:
Anton Strout's books continue to get better me with each new release. Dead Matter, the third book in the Simon Canderous series is a fast paced and exciting urban fantasy read. While it is #3 in a series, I think it stands on its own just fine if you absolutely can't read books 1 and 2.
Simon Canderous is an agent with the Department of Extraordinary Affairs, a super secret branch of the government dealing with paranormal activities. The backstory of the agency gives the series a humorous twist as the characters have to face big bad evil guys as well as red tape, paperwork, and stereotypical government shenanigans. Simon was recruited to the D.E.A because of his unique power to see the history and events around objects with the touch of his hand, aka psychometry.
In book 3 Simon's partner, Connor, is on extended vacation leave, forcing Simon to pick up the extra work. A late night call to check out some unusual ghost activity leads Simon to a disturbing discovery, Connor on the edge of madness as he tries to find out what happened to his brother 20 years ago. Dead Matter has Simon reaching out to help his partner only to find himself in the middle of outlandish circumstances and trying to prevent an all out war.
Simon continues to grow as an agent and person in this third installment of the series. We find him questioning the black and white of Good and Bad, looking closer into the shades of gray. It makes him and his story interesting. Connor's subplot surrounding his missing brother gives the storyline a touching boost and made me keep reading even when I thought I would need toothpicks to prop my eyelids up.
Dead Matter introduces us to a creative take on vampires and I really enjoyed their addition to the story. The conflict resolution around their existence in the end seemed a bit too easy for me, but it didn't damper my enjoyment of the story. Actually, it may have piqued my curious a bit because now I am curious to see where Mr. Strout takes this new group of characters and how they will fit in later.
Lastly, on a purely selfish note, I was relieved to have less Jane in this book. I am not fond of her and she is one of those characters I love to dislike for completely unfounded reasons. She is otherwise occupied throughout the story and I can't say I missed her.
Overall, Dead Matter starts off with a bang and keeps a fast pace all the way to the end. It is filled with funny lines, dangerous situations, and high action suspense all of which combined to keep me up far past my bed time.
Simon Canderous Series: