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Virtually Dead Hardcover – January 1, 2010


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 306 pages
  • Publisher: Poisoned Pen Press; 1 edition (January 1, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1590586700
  • ISBN-13: 978-1590586709
  • Product Dimensions: 8.6 x 5.8 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #788,869 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Real life and the virtual world bleed into one another with dangerous results in this well-plotted mystery from May (Blacklight Blue). Michael Kapinsky, a photographer for the Orange County (Calif.) Forensic Science Service, is fighting depression after losing his wife to cancer as well as facing a $3 million financial hole. Given his troubles, Michael decides to accept his therapist's suggestion to join an experimental group therapy session conducted in Second Life, an online world with 14 million members. A colleague of Michael's, crime scene investigator Janey Amat, already belongs to SL, where she runs the Twist of Fate Detective Agency. Janey welcomes Michael as her partner, and the pair soon discover that someone is killing avatars in SL as well as their RL (real-life) counterparts. May keeps the reader guessing while also providing an intriguing glimpse into the pleasures and pitfalls of SL. (Jan.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

May’s latest mystery ventures into the virtual world of Second Life, as his protagonist, crime-scene photographer Mike Kapinsky, explores the electronic alternate world at the urging of his therapist. Originally intending only to attend group-therapy sessions, Mike’s avatar, Chas Chesnokov, soon becomes so deeply involved with his virtual life that it impacts his real life. Working as a PI in Second Life, Mike begins to investigate a series of mysterious deaths that he links to real-world murders. Convinced that the police will never believe the Second Life connection, Mike digs deeper with the help of only his coworker and fellow Second Lifer Janey (aka Twist) and Doobie, a Second Life sex worker. A slow start gradually gains pace as Mike gets deeper into Second Life, and real-life dangers loom, leading to an exciting climax. Recommended for fans of gaming and computer-based mysteries. --Jessica Moyer

More About the Author

"Peter May is a writer I'd follow to the ends of the earth" New York Times

Peter May is the multi award-winning author of:

- the award-winning Lewis Trilogy set in the Outer Hebrides of Scotland;
- the China Thrillers, featuring Beijing detective Li Yan and American forensic pathologist Margaret Campbell;
- the Enzo Files, featuring Scottish forensic scientist Enzo MacLeod, which is set in France;
and Entry Island (January 2014, Quercus UK) the latest of several standalone books.

He has also had a successful career as a television writer, creator, and producer.

One of Scotland's most prolific television dramatists, he garnered more than 1000 credits in 15 years as scriptwriter and script editor on prime-time British television drama. He is the creator of three major television drama series and presided over two of the highest-rated serials in his homeland before quitting television to concentrate on his first love, writing novels.

Born and raised in Scotland he lives in France.

After being turned down by all the major UK publishers, the first of the The Lewis Trilogy - The Blackhouse - was published in France as L'Ile des Chasseurs d'Oiseaux where it was hailed as "a masterpiece" by the French national newspaper L'Humanité. His novels have a large following in France. The trilogy has won several French literature awards, including one of the world's largest adjudicated readers awards, the Prix Cezam.

The Blackhouse was published in English by the award-winning Quercus (a relatively young publishing house which did not exist when the book was first presented to British publishers). It went on to become an international best seller, and was shortlisted for both Barry Award and Macavity Award when it was published in the USA.

The Blackhouse won the US Barry Award for Best Mystery Novel at Bouchercon in Albany NY, in 2013.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Ted Feit VINE VOICE on March 16, 2010
Format: Paperback
Many people resort to fantasy to offset the realities of life. Michael Kapinsky, the protagonist in this unusual novel, lives not only in the real world but in a virtual world to solve a series of murders. Mike is a forensic photographer for CSI in southern California still grieving over the loss of his wife. His therapist suggests joining Second Life, an online parallel universe, as a way of letting go of his depressive disposition, so he promptly logs on as Chas Chesnokov, private eye.

This step leads to all kinds of complications, setting the stage for various plot twists and insights into the real and virtual worlds. For instance, Mike learns that murder not only happens in real life but to avatars as well. Then there is the mechanism for all kinds of financial shenanigans, among others that humans can devise.

This well-written novel is so different from the run-of-the-mill murder mystery, that there can only be one recommendation: Go out and get a copy and read it. You will be pleased.

Recommended.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Harriet Klausner #1 HALL OF FAME on January 8, 2010
Format: Hardcover
In California, Orange County Forensic Science Service photographer Michael Kapinsky cannot cope with the crippling depression he feels ever since his wife Mora died from cancer. Her medical care ran him into steep debt that he despondently feels he can never climb out of.

Michael agrees to try an experimental online group therapy session as suggested by his shrink. As Chas Chesnokov he joins Second Life with its fourteen million members. Orange County crime scene investigator Janey Amat is a member too; managing the Twist of Fate Detective Agency. Janey is elated to have Michael sign on to SL and join her as her detective partner. Chas also enjoys the company of escort dancer Doobie Littlething. However, Chas soon fears that an online stalker is killing people on SL and in real life as Chas recognizes crime scenes online that match some he has been to as Michael.

This is a terrific thriller that contains strong SL and RL whodunits that link the virtual with the real. However, what makes the tale is the deep look at the psychological uplift of becoming part of a social online network as Peter May takes the audience deep inside the new way we relate and will relate virtually. With a strong investigative mystery and a deep look at a modern day network nation of fourteen million netizens that find the virtual intoxicating, Peter May provides a fascinating exciting thriller; if you have not read this author you are missing one of the best.

Harriet Klausner
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By DelGal's Book Reviews on February 24, 2010
Format: Paperback
Virtually dead has an excellent, suspenseful plot that includes many twists and turns that keep readers on the edge of their seats throughout most of the book. The characters and setting are described in vivid detail and the transitions made from a virtual world to the real world could pose a serious problem for a writer, but are excellently conveyed here. This story has abundant references to the online virtual reality world, Second Life, and can be quite confusing since it can be hard to follow the numerous activities, vernacular and references mentioned within, and even a bit boring for readers who are not as familiar with this virtual game. However, if you are a fan of virtual reality games or if you enjoy suspense novels and are interested in reading about the psychological aspects that this novel touches upon with regards to the virtual world versus the real world, I would definitely recommend reading this.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Bazzy on April 20, 2010
Format: Paperback
I couldn't put this book down. Anyone who has played Second Life (or who is curious) would be easily drawn into this mystery which involves more RL blood, SL guts, and L$ than you can shake a stick at. The author has a keen insight into human emotion. The characters are believable and the relationships, both real and virtual, are moving. Perhaps most notable is the frank portrayal of sex in SL, which doesn't cross the line into graphic smut (Well, maybe it's a tiny little bit smutty, but surely just enough!). I hope there is a sequel.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Melissa on January 20, 2010
Format: Paperback
Virtually Dead by Flick Faulds (in Real Life (RL) Peter May) involves the virtual world of Second Life (SL). Second Life is a world where you become a totally different person. In the book, Crime-scene photographer Michael Kapinsky is a man whose first life is in total shambles and his second life is going to get alot worse. Since the death of his wife, Michael has been struggling with a financial burden. He has not been able to move on, his psychologist persuades him join a therapy group in Second Life. His SL name is Chas Chesnokov. He discovers that the victims who Michael investigated in RL crime scenes have had their avatars executed and their accounts deleted. When he enters the world he joins the Twist of Fate Detective Agency. Chas embarks on an investigation an escort girl called Doobie. There a numerous murders and there is a financial scam and the murderer is making millions of dollars. Michael is surprised to find over three million dollars suddenly deposited in Chas's account. He then realizes that his real and second lives are in danger.

I have an active avatar in the Second Life world and I am familiar with the lingo that is used in the book. The book is well written and the transition from SL to RL is very smooth. The author is very descriptive and portrays the virtual world accurately. In SL you communicate via IM and the author incorporates that in the book. I have never read a novel by this author before. I am looking forward to his next book. If you like a good thriller this is the book for you.
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