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Body Copy: A Novel Paperback – January 27, 2009

55 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Ad man Craven's first novel introduces an extremely likable detective, Donald Tremaine, a former champion surfer, now a Malibu PI living in a trailer by the beach. Tremaine's willingness to go with the flow and trust his intuition in a crisis proves useful in the cold-case murder of a genius advertising executive he investigates. There appear to be no unexplored leads left until he dives in with his unorthodox tactics. Sometimes Tremaine squeezes more out of witnesses than the police could, sometimes he squeezes policemen, and a lot of the time he simply lays out the available facts and lets his subconscious play with different arrangements until a new pattern appears. Readers may be as baffled as Tremaine at the novel's unexpected plot twists; however, the mystery's solution is neatly set up and emotionally satisfying. Rather than solemn detectives like Sam Spade or Philip Marlowe, Tremaine resembles Jim Rockford, a sometimes clumsy, usually canny, always cool dude. (Feb.)
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“Elmore Leonard and Carl Hiassen should be proud, there’s finally a writer to carry on their tradition.” (James Frey, author of Bright Shiny Morning)

“The style is slick....If Harlan Coben doesn’t write fast enough for you, this might ease your drought.” (Kirkus Reviews)
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Harper Perennial; Original edition (January 27, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0061657166
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061657160
  • Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 0.7 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (55 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #531,580 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Michael Craven is an award-winning advertising writer and creative director, and is the author of Body Copy. He grew up in Jacksonville, Florida, lived for many years in Los Angeles, and now lives and works in New York City.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Thomas A. Carver on February 10, 2009
Format: Paperback
I read this book in 2 sittings. As a huge fan of murder mysteries in general and Robert Parker's "Spenser Series" specifically I found Craven's 1st effort to be right on the money and very promising. Craven's P.I. character, Donald Tremaine, is a likeable loner, well-crafted and brimming with personality and character. Craven hits all the necessary beats of an effective crime novel but his book stands out through his ability pepper the story with a ton of wit while simultaneously weaving in heartfelt emotion and psychological intrigue. I was fully engaged throughout and am craving some more.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Bookeloo on February 15, 2009
Format: Paperback
I haven't enjoyed a book this much in ages. LOVED IT! Funny as hell and yet peppered with some genuinely moving insights into human nature. Oh yes, it's also a `whodunit' that draws you into the world of the upscale advertising scene when a titan of the industry is found murdered at his desk. The book follows former surfing champion turned detective, Donald Tremaine, who has been living the laid-back life in a Malibu trailer park. Catching waves and deciphering the Daily Jumble are the hallmarks of his day. That all changes when a good lookin' dame comes a-knockin' on his trailer for some assistance with a murder, and he finds himself pulled back into a life of crime solving. Get ready to ride shotgun with Donald as a fly on the wall on a fun ride through every nook and cranny of L.A., from the privileged world of old-money country clubs to the grittier environments of the city and everything in between. The people that Tremaine meets along the way are a real patchwork quilt of characters, and Craven has a gift for injecting a deep sense of reality into the story -- you feel that you are living it every step of the way. Underneath the humor and gumshoe narrative is a very astute depiction of human nature in all of its nuances. It's a fast ride that you won't want to miss. I read this book in two evenings and did not want it to end. Here's hoping there's a sequel in the works and that Donald Tremaine has many more cases to solve and we all get to go along for the ride.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Alice on February 18, 2009
Format: Paperback
I loved this book and could not put it down. I highly recommend it. Whether or not you like mystery/PI novels or not, this is a page turner with cool characters and great settings. I find it hard to believe that this is Craven's freshman effort - it reads like one of the greats. Buy it asap - you will not be disappointed.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Anthony C. Foster on February 11, 2009
Format: Paperback
I've read hundreds if not thousands of books in this genre and Craven's rookie effort is as solid as they come. The protagonist is extremly likeable and mixes a bit of the everyman with a bit of the man you want to be. The characters are textured and the plot pulls you in quickly. More than anything though this book is downright funny! Well done.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Free Man on February 10, 2009
Format: Paperback
Mr. Craven's first effort is solid. I genuinely had a great time reading this detective thriller. Mr. Craven's observations on life range from insightful to hilarious. He doesn't "over do" either type and they are dead on. The characters compel you to read on and his sense of humor comes through over and over. And he IS funny. Looking forward to the next offering from Michael Craven.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By M. Latham on February 10, 2009
Format: Paperback
I really liked this book. The story is woven well,written exceptionally well, and kept me engaged the whole time. The cleverness of the book is a testament to the author's creativity and his wit. Loved the detective. Had such a great combination of self-reflection and action. When is the next one?
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Ken T. on February 15, 2009
Format: Paperback
This is very well done for the author's first body of work. It's a classic PI story. The main character, Donald Tremaine is, an ex-pro surfer. He's turned into a PI. His character is very laid back & likable, as are his dog & eccentric next door neighbor.
Tremaine is approached by a beautiful woman, Nina Aldeen, who hires him to find out who murdered her uncle. The police never found out & deemed it a cold case.
The story unfolds well. It's characters are all believable. Tremaine carries his laid back personality into the case, along with his dry sense of humor. Tough when he needs to be, he finds another unsolved murder along the way. Could they be connected? He needs to find out.
The book keeps moving at a good pace & is very enjoyable. Tremaine's character is someone whom many can identify with. I'd like to see Mr. Craven build this character into a series of books.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Warren M. Wibbelsman on February 25, 2009
Format: Paperback
I found Michael Cravens book to be an exciting romp through a very real slice of Los Angeles living. It isnt the LA of Bukowskior even Wambaugh but rather captured the sights and sounds of the town many long time residents and recent emigrees experience every day. What made it the most fun was experiencing it through the life of Donald Tremaine. The action flowed the comedy cracked throughout the story. As with any great Mystery book I read, my only dissapointment was that it came to a thrilling conclusion all too quickly. I hope Craven is working on Tremaines next adventure and conquest.
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