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Dead Eye: Pennies for the Ferryman Paperback – May 18, 2009

4.3 out of 5 stars 103 customer reviews
Book 1 of 2 in the Dead Eye Series

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"A devilishly rich world of ghost wars, evil hauntings, and one man's curse to save humanity from a nefarious spiritual takeover. I can't wait to read more by Bernheimer!" --Ryan C. Thomas, author of Ratings Game and The Summer I Died

About the Author

Jim Bernheimer lives in Chesapeake, Virginia with his wife, Kim and two daughters, Laura and Marissa. Somehow, they put up with his foolishness. By day, he is a Network Administrator and runs his own computer consulting firm as a side company. Amazingly enough, he also finds time to write. Visit his website at www.jimbernheimer.com.
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The latest book club pick from Oprah
"The Underground Railroad" by Colson Whitehead is a magnificent novel chronicling a young slave's adventures as she makes a desperate bid for freedom in the antebellum South. See more

Product Details

  • Paperback: 258 pages
  • Publisher: Gryphonwood Press (May 18, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0979573882
  • ISBN-13: 978-0979573880
  • Product Dimensions: 5 x 0.6 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (103 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #447,043 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By B. Albright on May 28, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The previous "review" of this book shows the shortcomings of Amazon's "Are you over 13?" button before commenting; the question should be posed as mental age, not physical.

Unlike the prior reviewer, I've actually read Jim's book. I'll be honest: urban fantasy is not my cup of tea. I find Butcher's Dresden Files novels mildly entertaining, if formulaic (the long build-up to a "crowning moment of awesome" and then a power plus-up for Dresden gets a little old after ten or so installments).

That said, I enjoyed Jim Bernheimer's book a lot. It avoids many of the cliches of the genre (no hot, tramp-stamped vamp on the cover in torn leathers) and tells a fresh tale, not a hackneyed vamps vs. lycan replay.

The story is about a down-on-his-luck Iraq War vet who acquires the ability to see and communicate with ghosts via a cornea transplant. He becomes a Ferryman, with the ability to help ghosts acquire closure with their lives and deaths and pass on to the next world. The ability to see ghosts has existed throughout modern literature (Hamlet, Jesus Christ, the ancient Greeks, many African spiritual traditions, and yes, several B horror flicks); the challenge is to tell the modern ghost tale in a fresh, interesting way. Jim does.

In such stories, there is often a supernatural world existing beneath normal human perception. The mark of a good tale in this genre is whether it's a compelling, interesting enough world that the reader wishes to join, if only vicariously through the written word. Jim delivers in spades.

What's good about this novel: Jim's characters are organic and interesting. His hero isn't a superman, but rather an average guy thrust into difficult circumstances.
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Format: Paperback
If you're looking for demon-killing nymphomaniacs, this book is not for you. If, however, you're looking for a brilliant first novel by a very promising storyteller, I can't recommend this book highly enough. Set in modern times (the protagonist is a medically retired veteran from Iraq) it's an adventure story where the hero doesn't know he's a hero, and in fact finds the whole hero business to be an inconvenience - he'd like to get back on track with his life, thank-you-very-much.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Imagine some petty, vindictive, ungrateful and even psychotic people. Now imagine that these people knew that no one could punish them for murder (or worse). Meet the ghosts that Mike Ross -- Jim Bernheimer's great new hero -- is forced to deal with.

Ferryman Mike is down on his luck but doesn't quit. His sarcastic wit, moral code, and generally proactive style remind me of a Jim Rockford or a Thomas Magnum. Like those other two antiheroes, he gets: plenty of grief from his "clients", precious little money, and no glory. Still, we love him and the characters he is surrounded with.

The story starts with a single false step (a little questionable politics) but quickly draws us into Mike's world as we watch him learn -- the hard way -- to deal with his unwanted gifts. This book is a real page-turner with excellent characters and great action scenes. The mystery moves along nicely and the plot twists are well done. It ends all too soon, leaving us wanting more.

I sincerely hope there will be a sequel.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I am surprised at the number of glowing reviews on this page. I just finished Dead Eye, and while I enjoyed the premise of the story, the novel fell short on a number of levels, most noticeably the shoddy editing. I won't bother detailing the plot summary which you can read in other reviews and that I actually enjoyed, which is why I was so frustrated with the poor editing.

I was amazed at the number of grammatical errors in this book! I'm not sure whether that's the fault of the author or the editor; however, the poor editing definitely impacted my enjoyment of the story. The typos were primarily visible in sentences containing too many/not enough words to make sense, and not simple misspellings. Sentences throughout the story read as if they were reworded at some point and relevant words were not removed in order for the sentence to make sense. For example: "I went to the her office." (This example is mine, not the author's, but you get the point.)

In addition--and this is not necessarily an editorial mistake--but the excessive use of "air quotes" around every pun or ironic observation Mike makes is also very distracting and become tedious quickly. There is also an abundance of exclamation points after sentences! I found this punctuation mark distracting when applied in excess to Mike's dramatic observations, which didn't really require the additional "shout" to make a point.

Aside from editing, there are some key issues that detracted from my overall enjoyment of the story. First is the lack of any likeable female characters. With the exception of Mike's mother, there are really only three supporting female characters: Jenny Goodman, Officer Candy McKenna, and Elsbeth the ghost. All of these women are written as vapid, petty, promiscuous, or outright bitchy.
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