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Charm and cheek characterize Green's newest Ishmael Jones manor house mystery

Dead Man Walking

A country house murder mystery with a supernatural twist

by Simon R. Green

Severn House

Mystery & Thrillers, SciFi & Fantasy

Pub Date: 1 September 2016


Charm and cheek are part and parcel of Simon R Green's novels. While Dead Man Walking is not as over the top as some of his other titles, it too has an easy blend of action and wit. Ishmael Jones is a secret agent, one who fights monsters and people and things that hide in the shadows.

When a rogue agent comes in from the cold, The Organization wants Ishmael to prove the agent's identity before he is debriefed. (A euphemism for interrogation). Ringstone Lodge is known and feared as a place where agents and enemies are critically examined, taken apart for their secrets. Not a pleasant place for Ishmael and Penny to visit. Further there are reports of ghostly activities. When the agent turns up dead, and the security system shows no intrusion, Ishmael and Penny start looking for a murderer. As the body count rises, they are forced to ask whether the killer in this locked room mystery is something other than human.

Simon R Green turns the manor house mystery on its ear with delight. It is a pleasure to read the banter that goes back and forth between Penny and Ishmael. At times it reminded me of the screwball comedies popular in the 30s and 40s. While I liked Dead Man Walking immensely, the novel wasn't quite as spine tingling as The Dark Side of the Road. Still, if you enjoy mysteries with a supernatural twist and a hefty dose of wit, don't pass Dead Man Walking by.


I received a copy of Dead Man Walking from the publisher and in exchange for an honest review.



“Call me Ishmael. Ishmael Jones. I am the man in the shadows, that even the shadows are afraid of. The secret agent whose life is the greatest secret of all. And some of the cases I work are trickier than others.”

A rogue agent has come in from the cold and wants to spill his secrets. The Organisation wants Ishmael to find out if Frank Parker is who he says he is, what he really knows, and why he has emerged from the shadows after all this time.

Ishmael heads to Ringstone Lodge in Yorkshire where Parker is being held to find that an atmosphere of fear and suspicion prevails. As he and his fellow residents are menaced by a series of alarming and inexplicable incidents, Ishmael sets out to prove that it’s human trickery rather than any supernatural being behind the seemingly ghostly goings-on. But matters take an unexpected turn when one of their number is brutally murdered, and once again Ishmael must turn detective in order to entrap a twisted killer before they strike again.

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