Running a French Holiday Gite in Rural Brittany

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Dead Famous - holiday book review

On holiday again (hurrah) and once again I’m enjoying the opportunity to relax and read some books.

This time from the bookshelf I’ve enjoyed reading one of Ben Elton’s books, Dead Famous.

With more than a little nod of inspiration to the ‘Big Brother’ phenomenon, ten contestants are locked up in House Arrest where their every action is scrutinised day and night by ‘Peeping Tom’ with thirty cameras and forty microphones and the inevitable confessional box. There’s the usual petty arguments, stupid tasks for the inmates to do, and weekly eviction nominations and public vote.

So far so very much like the TV show.

Things take a dramatic twist though when one of the contestants is gruesomely murdered and despite all the surveillance cameras, no-one can work out "who dunnit". Cue the start of a great murder mystery story with the grumpy detective forced to watch hours and hours of archive footage to try to find out a motive for what happened and trying to piece together the clues. With all the possible suspects locked together inside the Peeping Tom house it should be simples to find a motive and method for the crime. Of course it's not as simple as that, maybe someone from outside wanted to do the murder (but how?) and it seems that in the few short weeks they've been locked together everyone has a motive for wanting their fellow contestants dead.

The story flashes backwards and forwards between the ongoing police investigation and what happened previously in the house and one by one the house inmates are investigated as the finger of suspicion turns on each of them in turn. The story ends (perhaps slightly cornily) with a 'showdown' of the police detective collecting all the suspects together and revealing who didn't do the crime, and then ergo who did do the dirty deed. Although a contrived mechanism of revealing the final clues to the story, Elton does so with unashamed flair and whilst I did manage to work out pretty much who was the guilty party there still a few surprises thrown in that made it an enjoyable read.

Dead Famous is available from Amazon for £7.99 as are lots of other novels by Ben Elton.

Enjoy (or come and stay in our Brittany Gite and you can read my copy that's on the bookshelf) !



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