Dig your grave

Dig Your Grave

By Steven Cooper

Seventh Street Books
ISBN 978-16333884809
Publication Date: October 2018


Review by Danny Lindsey

Dig Your Grave (2018 by Seventh Street Books) is one of those that grabbed me right away and held on to me all the way to the (unexpected) end. Somehow Steven Cooper’s style, characters, ,and pace clicked the sweet spot in my brain. I’m not sure if it was Gus Parker’s mysticism and his long-term relationship with a rock star, or if it was Alex Mills’ approach to crime solving and his “real person” attributes and actions. Whichever, or both, this book was a genuine pleasure to read.

Prominent men are being killed in Phoenix. They are apparently forced to walk into a cemetery, dig a shallow grave, and with a marker write their own epitaph on cardboard. Seemingly unrelated, the murders have one thing in common – success. It is Mills’ job to link them and solve the cases, and his relationship with Gus Parker is called into play when clues and motive are elusive.

Cooper blends the right amounts of setting and character development with a strong plot line. The reader still gets to use his or her imagination instead of being fed endless detail, which permits personal engagement with the story, one of the reasons we read instead of only watching television or streaming movies. It’s refreshing to become involved with the writer’s narration.

Dig Your Grave is the second Gus Parker and Alex Mills novel, and should not be the last. Strong characters and good writing make me want to go back and read the first, and eagerly wait for the next in the series.

I recommend it heartily.

Danny Lindsey keeps trying to retire. After a 20-year Army career and a 25-year second one in the private sector, he’s finally settled down. His current gig is as the Veteran Employment Services Manager for a Huntsville, A.L.  based non-profit, Still Serving Veterans. Both full careers were characterized by numerous writing assignments, from war plans to operating policies and procedures, then on to white papers, analyses of alternatives and competitive contract and grant proposals. Now his writing consists of blogs for the website, podcasts for the local NPR affiliate, and a half dozen Pulitzer-worthy, albeit unpublished novels.

Update:  Danny’s 2017 Claymore Award winning manuscript Serial Justice is now available on Amazon!