Rich Pickings For Ravens (The Afterlife Crisis Trilogy) By Tom Conrad

The banana flavour of his accidental conception, and the banana theme of his accidental death, now all seemed to conspire against him and rather suggest the universe, Mr Fate or whoever did have some sort of master plan after all. Despite all his earlier conjecturing, maybe the universe, Mr Fate or whoever was laughing its fat and meddling head at him. The outlandish evidence did seem to speak for itself, truly suggesting a mocking narrative devised by some mischievous author because quite simply a banana condom had brought Midnight into the world and a banana skin had seen him out. Putting those two seeming truths together, Midnight was once again forced to ask such confused and searching questions like:

What is this place, where am I heading? And what’s the deal with all the ruddy bananas?

Again, there were no answers forthcoming.

Poor Midnight Merlot. Midnight is dead. Slipped on a banana peel, but did not go for a slide. Bumped his head, and he most certainly did not wake up in the morning.

Wow! What a fantastic read. Certainly not your everyday ghost story. The humour in this novel is dark but brilliant. It’s like Sherlock Holmes and Watson meets Monty Python meets e. e. cummings. The dry humour is entertaining, and the wittiness of the author, and the poetic style he writes in, will leave you wanting more.

Midnight Merlot, named after the time of conception (and of course, the red merlot his parents so aptly drank too much of), meets his untimely demise in the middle of a strange street. Midnight “wakes” to find out that he’s actually dead, killed quite possibly, by a rogue brick and a banana peel.

The author takes you through Midnight’s emotions, the way he was feeling when he first finds out that he is indeed dead, to the way he feels when he witnesses his own funeral. Oh, and when he witnesses his father…ah…pleasuring himself.

Midnight might be ghostly, but he tries to figure out what the spirit world is all about in relation to the real world. He tries to figure out why some ghosts can move things and he can’t, why he can walk through doors and fall through ceilings, but land, otherwise, on the floor–why doesn’t he fall into the earth? These are the questions that I suppose any young ghost might ask themselves. What makes up his ghostly “atoms, molecules and whatevers”?

Midnight has forgotten the events up to his death, and quite frankly, doesn’t really know what happened to cause his death. That’s where the detectives come in, and also, his own attempts at playing sleuth.

Now, in somewhat desperation, the young ghost was even considering such things as hypnosis. Maybe that could offer the answer?

Hmm, the idea only raised three minor and immediate drawbacks:

One: No one alive could currently see him, which Midnight heavily suspected would limit his chances of being hypnotised or indeed of finding someone capable in the phone book.

Two: If he were to discover a phone book he would be completely unable to move the pages to H for hypnotists.

Three: Midnight didn’t much believe in hypnosis in the first place. It seemed to be the work of charlatans, trained actors, or probably just far more suggestive and thoroughly more impressionable minds than his sharp acutely honed grey matter. Then again, up until a fortnight ago his sharp acutely honed grey matter didn’t much believe in ghosts and more to the point his sharp acutely honed grey matter had not been half hanging out the back of his dented noggin. All in all, Midnight had to admit that what he’d once believed was all very much open to a hearty into the night debate.

This is the first book in The Afterlife Crisis Trilogy series, and I think everyone should read this book. It’s well written, with a quirky, entertaining dry humour and definitely different than most humour-style books that I’ve come across as of late.

The author admitted to me that it wasn’t necessarily a “laugh out loud” kind of book, but more of a “chuckle” type. Well, I did laugh out loud (and chuckled!) as I read this ghostly story. The book is original, taking the reader through the story in Midnight’s point of view, making you feel sorry for the young ghost as he tries to figure things out.

For something different, this is a must read. If I could, I’d give this book 10 stars…but alas, I can only give 5…so, 5 it is!

P.S. Looking forward to reading the second and third books in this series!!



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8 responses to “Rich Pickings For Ravens (The Afterlife Crisis Trilogy) By Tom Conrad

  1. That certainly sounds like something completely different! Thanks for reviewing it, Beth!

  2. Sounds great. No vampires or zombies and I enjoy paranormal humor and afterlife investigation type stuff. I mean I have The Bracelet sitting on my shelf after all….Great review Beth!

  3. This sounds like something I might like! Good review, Beth!

  4. @William, Evie and Norma….all three of you would enjoy this type of writing…you could certainly appreciate it anyway. It’s fun and the writing is so imaginative…

  5. Pingback: Beth Muscat reviews Rich Pickings For Ravens – visit Beth’s Reviews! | THE INDIE PEDANT

  6. Pingback: Beth Muscat reviews Rich Pickings For Ravens – visit Beth’s Reviews! « TheAfterlifeCrisis

  7. Pingback: Risk Of Infection~A Novella By Tom Conrad | Beth's Reviews And Promotions

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