In Still Life, Casey Marshall has everything going for her—looks, money, a great marriage, a successful business—that is until she is hit by a car and goes into a coma. The book is all through Casey’s perspective, which means that it all takes place in her hospital room or later the room in her house after she transfers. The book mostly consists of conversations of her family and friends, which made for a slow pace in the novel. It becomes clear fairly early on that someone tried to kill Casey, so there wasn’t a whole lot of suspense when the killer is revealed very early on in the novel.
This novel was pretty awful for the most part. Since the novel takes place in Casey’s perspective, the book drowns in inane conversations with poorly written characters. Casey’s internal dialogue is nothing but annoying. The novel uses a dreadful amount of flashback—way too much for my liking. It’s limited because of the way the story is told. In addition, the husband is revealed very early on as the one who plotted to kill Casey. He’s presented as a highly intelligent lawyer who has been able to convince people that he’s this great person. Then ridiculously enough he has conversations which give him away as the killer right in front of Casey, even though it is revealed that she can hear what they are saying. So this intelligent person is talking about how he plotted to kill his wife right in front of her? How ridiculous. Having said all of that, the final third of the novel is actually pretty good. There was sufficient tension and drama, which saves it from being a bad novel.
Carl Alves – author of Blood Street