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Virtually Dead Hardcover – January 1, 2010
This month's Book With Buzz: "The Lying Game" by Ruth Ware
From the instant New York Times bestselling author of blockbuster thrillers "In a Dark, Dark Wood" and "The Woman in Cabin 10" comes Ruth Ware’s chilling new novel, "The Lying Game." See more
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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.
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
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Top customer reviews
Michael Kapinsky, a Newport Beach, California crime scene photographer with lots of problem,s joins an on-line community at the request of his psychologist. While wandering around in “Second Life,” he finds a “friend” from his real life is there as well. He becomes accustomed to the oddities of second life, but things get complicated when avatars killed in second life start showing up as dead people in real life. Michael’s real life continues to get more and more complicated as the investigation bounces from real life to second life and back again. This book has all the elements of a good thriller – money, murder, sex, and organized crime, both in the real world and in the virtual second life world.
Fun fact:Peter May gives a shout out to one of his other books, "The Blackhouse" by using that as one of the locations in the virtual Second Life world.
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.