Never having been to Las Vegas (yet!), I get the definitive impression that, apart from the glitz and glamor of the Britney Spears residencies and fancy restaurants, the city is an urchin of debauchery and seediness. Oft-depicted as the syphilis of America, I don’t know if Las Vegas has a bad wrap or is really that deprave of a place. Until I can make that judgement for myself, I’m content reading books like Kendall Bailey’s visceral The Dead Don’t Speak.
In his second book, Kendall Bailey presents the reader a diversion of sorts from the modern trends of storytelling. For one, there is a dual viewpoint from which the story is told. Not only satiating the jaded readers of the world (me included!), Bailey successfully orates a story that puts literal meat on the bones of its plots and character presentations. Set amongst the hyperactive and semi-depressing gambling world of Sin City itself, The Dead Don’t Speak eschews the typical plot conventions of a down on his luck gambler who has hopeful intentions but ultimately failing. Instead, the author introduces a twelve-year old bogus psychic whose arrival in Vegas, after a highly visible mishap, sets off a dangerous array of events that spotlights the underbelly of the shiny lights in the city of Vices.
What did I like about The Dead Don’t Speak? A lot. It met quite of a bit of my extensive criteria of what makes a good read: well-developed characters who are relatable and real, was a semi-lesson in morality, and moved along at a pleasant clip, just fast enough so as to progress a plot that is entertaining but evocative.
The Dead Don’t Speak is a fun read, and though accentuating the debauchery that defines Las Vegas, gives the reader a chance to make their own decision of whether chance and fate really do govern the paths we take,.