Book Review: The Wrong Dead Guy by Richard Kadrey

Cover of the book The Wrong Dead Guy by Richard Kadrey
The Wrong Dead Guy
by Richard Kadrey
Harper/Voyager, 2017

This review was first published by Booklist on January 9, 2017.

Coop and company are back for their second supernatural adventure (after The Everything Box, 2016). This time, they’re facing a reanimated mummy bent on world domination (and finding his old girlfriend) while Coop gets acclimated to his new role in DOPS. There are inept suburban animal-rights activists, a crooked used-car salesman, machinating DOPS agents, a possessed museum guard, crooked old mystics, a professor transformed into a cat trapped in a television mounted on a tentacled robot, a forgotten department in the bowels of DOPS with a strange box in it . . . Kadrey fans have plenty of his signature ridiculousness to sink their teeth into: Douglas Adams meets Clive Barker in a James Ellroy setting. This is smart, witty, and biting comedy. There’s a bit of a sophomore slump: the stakes of the conflict are lower than its predecessor, and the side characters feel somewhat perfunctory. Still, all the elements come together and work well, and Kadrey at slightly less than his best remains one of the best out there. This new series remains worthwhile.

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