Book Review: A Few Words for the Dead

A Few Words for the Dead by Guy Adams, The Clown Service #3

While Section 37 Agent Toby Greene's honeymoon takes an unexpected, and potentially deadly turn, back in London Section Chief August Shining has troubles of his own. Dragged in by his fellow agents from M-16, Shining is forced to relive an old mission from the 80's, and pick up where he left off all those years ago to face an old and deadly foe. As Toby and his new wife Tamar dodge an unstoppable killer across Asia and Europe, August must fight, not just for the future of The Clown Service, but for his very existence. 

I am a big Guy Adams fan. With his The Clown Service series, he has shown a different side of him. Writing a different genre, supernatural thriller, top secret spy stories. Which all kicked of two books ago in The Clown Service, and continuing in The Rain-Soaked Bride. Even with already having delivered two solid book, don't worry as A Few Words for the Dead continues Guy Adams' winning streak, another thoroughly entertaining and creepy story. 

The events in A Few Words for the Dead pick up not soon after the events of The Rain-Soaked Bride. Toby Greene who was inaugurated in the first book to Section 37 is currently enjoying a honeymoon with Tamar, however this is far from your standard honeymoon. As the creator of the Rain-Soaked Bride as many more surprises in store. Things are still not fully settled after the events in the second book. After this introduction with Toby and Tamar the focus is shifted this time around more fully on August Shining. August is being called back to explain a mission that took place the 1980's in Germany to his higher-ups, of course all with a reason. The telling of August and this mission splits the story into two timelines, the current (one we see actually only briefly) and the past, where August spends his most time. This mission took place in the 80's in Germany, August was on a mission to capture a deadly opponent. Now that I am typing this short synopsis I only come to realize that it doesn't come close to do justice to the story. It might follow these few big lines, but Guy Adams writes the story with sure deftness, involving a lot of different factors and creating a more than wonderful atmosphere surrounding this story.

Guy Adams has taken the story of The Clown Service to a lot of different venues. Really laying the focus on the current state and making Toby a star of the series. Toby and his fiance Tamar still play an important role but as this time around the focus is more on August Shining and this was for me a big plus was for me a big plus, it added much more diversity to the story and it gave a much better grip on the character of August, we have only seen him as an "completed" character as the focus was on Toby and his inauguration in Section 37. With putting the focus on August, though with a backstory, gave much more personality to him. The other characters like April, Tamar and Toby all take a bit of a step back but still have their influence in the story, through the brief glimpses, Guy Adams does manage to produce a well rounded story. 

One thing that keeps amazing me is the terrific sense that Guy Adams manages to tell in his stories. The Clown Series is a supernatural spy thriller and especially in this volume there is a lot of show and not tell, allowing the reader to connect the dots. The naming of a possible adversary as just "Assassin" and the thing that happens to April in the book, it did make me reread several chapter but it catches you out of the blue and sticks with you for a long long time. It with these elusive mentions and heavy plot twists that makes Guy Adams books so irritable and a whole lot of fun to read.  

A Few Words for the Dead is for me the best Clown Service book to date. The direction that Guy Adams is going with his book is defintely the right one. If you read the first two books in the series you will appreciate what Guy Adams has done in this book, with a the knowledge that I gathered with the first two books it all starts to come together. Well only partly because Guy Adams readily tranforms the promise with the ending of A Few Words for the Dead. It can go any which way from this point on. If you like good characters, a cool setting and some amazing idea's you should read this book. Frankly if you haven't been reading Guy Adams. Shame on you. This is brilliant stuff!


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