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A keen lighting designer, Dean visited the Edinburgh Festival with a theatre company from the University of Colorado and then stayed for a year, spending most of his salary in pubs. After moving to London, he took up a career in graphic design and then web communications in the City before starting pub review website fancyapint.com with a friend. Editor of Fancyapint? in London and author of two Jaared Sen books, Dean lives in East London with his wife Debra and two cats, and dreams of a that house in France.
on Oct. 12, 2011 :
I loved the book; it could have been a little better though. There are three different stories going on, narrated from different perspectives, and gradually they merge together to form a full picture. Although I like books with switching narration, there were times when I had to reread passages to identify the narrator. Often the same scene was repeated by two narrators from their own perspective which made a little more interesting. The book is fast paced stuffed with secrets and conspiracies. The ending left with me with some unanswered questions which I hope would be revealed in the upcoming third book.
Actually I didn't realize it is the second book in the series and it is pretty weird that I haven't read the first book, Death in Amber. However, given the choice, I would love to read its first and third book rather than receiving another review copy. I received an e-copy of this book from the Library Thing giveaway in exchange for an honest review.
(reviewed 6 months after purchase)
on Oct. 02, 2011 :
Review of member giveaway eBook
This was a very unusual book. Set in the future it has several strands that run through until the end of the book when they meet. There is Investigator Jaared Sen; a blind, one hundred and seventy year old enhanced cop. Stel, a female researcher and agent. Emile, an antique Dealer with a secret. All involved with the mysterious Secret society of the Priory of Scion and their treasure. Add in vampires and demons and it pretty much covers all genres. It was ambitious, and if flawed at times, it was definitely an entertaining read. I would recommend it as a fun addition to the cannon with enough strange quirks to keep you reading.
(reviewed 5 months after purchase)
on Aug. 25, 2011 :
I'll be honest I was disappointed. I'm a history nut and I love all the secret societies, the conspiracies and the idea that there's been a two millennium cover up of some pretty awesome things. This story promised all that in the synapse, but failed miserably in the delivery. At this time I wouldn't recommend this story as it needs work. The author needs to thin out his character lines, choose one or two plot lines, and he needs to keep the story in a singular direction, not branching sixteen ways from Sunday.
(reviewed 4 months after purchase)
on May 28, 2011 :
Grail quest and detection in a future both paranormal and fragmented. This is the second book in the Jaared Sen Quartet (I have yet to read the first), but this book can be easily read as a standalone tale.
The story begins in 1917 in the French village of Rennes-le-Château where Bérenger Saunière, a priest, is found collapsed at the door to his tower. He has fought to protect the object that he has been safeguarding, but loses it to his attacker and also loses his life a few days later.
In the present, this secret that the Priory of Sion protects inspires covetousness in many as they ruthlessly hunt for the object and wonder what power it can bestow on them. At the same time there are those who fight to protect the secret, but who is on which side?
Jaared Sen is tasked by his British masters in The Company to monitor a dubious man called The Head who has shown an interest in the Priory of Sion. The Head employs Stel who is an art historian and Stel works to discover the tracks through history that the Priory of Sion may have left. Emile is an antiques dealer in France who suffers from a leg that troubles him more than he can understand and has his shop broken into, yet nothing is stolen? Paulette is a psychic who watches over Emile and tries to protect and aid him. With the help of his mysterious benefactor Jaared tracks The Head and his dealings and follows him to France as the search and the major players converge.
This is an intriguing and highly entertaining read. A mixture of grail quest and the paranormal set in a futuristic world where people can be rejuvenated, have phones in their heads, and where Britain is a kleptocracy This is a fast paced tale that keeps the reader wanting to know more as they follow the twists and turns of the various characters. The use of language and imagery is fresh and pithy and the hangover descriptions are especially vivid.
(reviewed 24 days after purchase)
J. Robert Ewbank
on May 26, 2011 :
I enjoyed this book by Fetzer. It is a little far out but that adds to the attraction of the book. The characters are sketched in enough for you to follow them and the plot is interesting enough to follow. It can capture your attention for the time it takes to read the book.
J. Robert Ewbank author "John Wesley, Natural Man, and the 'Isms'"
(reviewed 22 days after purchase)
on May 25, 2011 :
A new genre of popular novel has grown up in the wake of Dan Brown's Da Vinci Code. This genre combines the actions of a thriller with a mystery concerned with symbols and the Church. Death After Midnight fits this new genre well with explosive action centred around powerful groups looking for what is at the heart of the Priory of Sion.
One character after another picks up the narration in Death After Midnight, the action often over-lapping as it is seen by the different story-tellers. It takes a little while to get used to this way of presenting the story, but the interchanges suit this complex plot well. We begin to trust that these disparate people will interact with each other in meaningful ways.
Commander Sen Jaared from law-enforcement and Mistress Stel from one of the powerful self-interest groups become the main characters, and the dénouement of the story is not about their relationship, but about the discovery of Jaared's son, Emile. I wasn't sure whether this off-kilter approach to plotting was deliberate, but it meant that this reader has to pay careful attention to stay with the story. We have come to expect that plots in the new genre will drive reasonably straight.
None of this spoiled the enjoyment of the book for me. As a French-speaker interested in church history, I was hooked by the subject matter. Unlike Dan Brown, Dean Fetzer includes elements of fantasy and places Death After Midnight in a somewhat dysfunctional future Europe. This surrealism was well achieved.
But this novel did show the lack of a good editor. There were typos and errors in the French dialogue which could, and should, have been easily fixed. “Au revoir” is sometimes spelled correctly, and sometimes misspelled as “Au revior”. “Madamoiselle” jumped off the page as inaccurate, and in other places “Mademoiselle” was correctly spelled. A basic French spell-check would have corrected many annoying errors.
People – especially people in thrillers – don’t speak in complete sentences. The story would have flowed better with more naturalistic dialogue. And yet, the dialogue achieves well what other novelists have difficulty with: different characters can be recognised from the way they speak, and these different speech patterns are carried quite consistently into the narration as each character picks up the story.
Beginning writers are urged to show, not tell, the action. Many times, Fetzer both shows and tells, a belt and braces approach to narrative that can get quite irritating. A character speaks harshly, and their speech is concluded with “he said sternly”. Having shown us the feel of the speech, the adverb jumps out as superfluous. We don’t want to be told as well as shown the underlying tensions between characters. If Dean Fetzer had taken Stephen King’s advice and deleted as many adverbs as possible, the story-telling would have been much more powerful.
An editor would also have reined in the sprawl of the plot driving us straighter to a conclusion.
As writers, we all learn to write stories by writing them. Dean Fetzer has provided a good yarn, and his next ones will be better.
(reviewed 21 days after purchase)
on May 18, 2011 :
While I wouldn't say the book is a page turner, I did enjoy the premise, and the characters withing the story. I would recommend it as an easy read, particularly for those who enjoy stories of the mysticism of the Templars and such.
(reviewed 14 days after purchase)
on May 14, 2011 :
I enjoyed this book, a real page turner. Although I hadn’t read Vol 1 I had no problem reading it as a ‘stand alone’ novel. It began slowly introducing the characters, building up momentum as the story unfolded, ending at breakneck speed with ‘une grande finale’. The futuristic and fantasy element was incorporated at the same pace in tandem - nice touch. The characters were very interesting and well rounded, I could easily believe they had a past. Perfect for a movie adaptation. I shall be on the lookout for other volumes in the quartet.
(reviewed 10 days after purchase)
on May 09, 2011 :
A few pages into Death After Midnight by Dean Fetzer and I realized that the author's effort was not working for me. A page or two later and it dawned on me that the author was especially enamored of adverbs. Rarely was a verb allowed to rest on its own merits without an adverb that was both superfluous and amateurish. “Glared menacingly...glitter disconcertingly... raising a hand unconsciously...staring blankly...waved distractedly...eyes actually focused...throbbed sullenly.” And so it went. In addition, there was a similar problem with adjectives, not to mention pleonasm. Toss in a jarring new scenario every two or three pages that seemed disconnected from the previous scenario and that had no bearing on the next scenario, an unbelievable murder sequence involving a stiletto heel (including one of the more foul language tirades you will read anywhere), a female psychic who materializes out of nowhere, a 170 year-old blind entity (human? demonic?) and his muse, and, well, after reading some 60 pages of this literary effort, I gave up. The overall syntax and the disconnected scenarios did not meet my expectations for an entertaining read.
(reviewed 6 days after purchase)
on May 05, 2011 :
It was a little confusing at first jumping to the new characters and thier start of thier storylines. It all came together well. Has a lot of future world might be like. Th central figure is Jaared who is 167 years old cop. Jaared is blind and he has a computer in his brain so his bosses can always know how he is doing or feeling. Head is crime boss who wants to find out about templars secrets and what they had hidden, he believes it is the holy grail. Madaline is Jaared benafactor that comes and does things he has a hard time understanding and remembering her. Emile is an antiques dealer that has painful leg and his shop gets broken into a few times. Paulette she sees glimps of the future and cares for Emile.
Thier is a lot of action and history it was good story and kept me interested in it till the end once I got a handle on who was doing what. recommend it.
(reviewed 2 days after purchase)