Death and Seven

Fiction - Science Fiction
176 Pages
Reviewed on 12/15/2018
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

Dan earned a living in by doing minor league journalism, technical writing and finally computer programming.

But he had been called Dan after a character in a science fiction novel by his very young parents and that bit of predestination stuck.

At seven he decided to be an artist and settled on painting. Two or three weeks into that he realized he didn't draw very well and he switched to literature.

In middle school he encountered his first serious library and discovered H. G. Wells.

A few years later a pair of chortling school pals found a copy of the novel Skin and Bones on the shelves of a local thrift store and stuck it in his locker - a comment on his physique.

Dan read the Thorne Smith novel and had the second of his science fiction heroes.

An interesting and challenging pair to emulate, H. G. Wells and Thorne Smith. War of the Worlds meets Topper.

And then in high school Dan's still young parents were having drinks with friends before going out to dinner. He was in the kitchen, mulling over a typewriter. A woman in her middle thirties, looking for the bathroom, stumbled across him and asked what he was doing. He explained.

"I started out to be a writer," she said. After a pause she added, "Never quit."

The regret and poignancy in her voice was such that he never did.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Ruffina Oserio for Readers' Favorite

Death and Seven by Dan Welch is a rollicking ride, an engaging tale that mixes crime and corporate law in an alternate world, a world in which crime finds a new definition and the art of investigation takes on a brand new style with the talking dead. The narrative begins with a talking dead body and one of the interesting characters: ‘Amanda had not initially recognized the electronically generated monotone she heard as speech and it took her a moment to associate the “voice” with the corpse.' The reader is introduced to Freddy Logan, an indefatigable character who is determined to put an end to crime in institutions, but the game gets more complicated as they pursue criminals. Amanda Wilson, who works at the federal research hospital, is on a challenging mission to fix Wall Street with the talking corpse of the stunning Sarah Russell.

What struck me first when I started reading this novel was the author’s gift for humor. It opens the narrative and quirkiness grows from page to page. The beauty of the story is reflected in the author’s exciting and crisp prose, the engaging and well-crafted dialogues, but it is the quirkiness that accompanies character development that I enjoyed. The characters are ingeniously created and I found the idea of talking corpses unique. It is interesting to live in a world where the dead can be interrogated. Characters like Amanda Wilson and Freddy Logan are compelling and readers will enjoy stepping into their worlds. Death and Seven is a huge achievement, a bold narrative that reinvents the world. Dan Welch is a gifted storyteller who uses humor and language to keep readers engaged. It was a riveting read for me.

K.J. Simmill

"Loot the market on the way up, loot the treasury on the way down." The plan is to eliminate this thinking, and what better way to purge the business than by using insiders, ones who no longer possess a filter between the truth and what is said. The problem is corruption is like a weed, and the roots grow deep. Loyalties, secrets, and favors keep unsavory deeds hush-hush, and sometimes it is easier to get information from a corpse than have one person turn on another. But what if a corpse could be primed for information, interrogated to get to a truth that some thought had been taken to the grave? What if this truth was filtered to those who needed to act on it, and what if that truth implicates very powerful people, with the thread leading all the way to the White House? You're left with a mess, questions, and a very real danger. Some secrets are taken to the grave for a reason, and now that they can be unveiled, no one is safe, especially those digging for the truth. And with such a means at their disposal, what's to ensure that justice remains fair when incriminating testimony can be gathered after the death sentence?

Dan Welch’s Death and Seven follows the story of multiple characters all working towards the same course. These story threads are delicately intertwined to give the reader a full picture of exactly what is going on and the consequences the actions of one group have on another. The characters are varied and interesting, each exploring their own moral and personal dilemmas and considerations. With the plot's steady and progressive pace, you see the perspectives of each division touched by the intelligence obtained via the postmortem interrogations. There are some strong characters, interesting opinions, and some great points for consideration. With crooks, mobsters, and investigations leading to places and people of great influence, there is no shortage of intrigue to keep you reading.

K.C. Finn

Death and Seven by author Dan Welch is an action-packed quick read on a science fiction theme. The central concept of the novel is fresh and exciting, focused on the executed corpses of people who have been charged with capital treason against large corporations. Amanda Wilson is part of a team that has discovered how to talk to the dead, and she’s working alongside the brilliant, beautiful and deceased Sarah Russell to investigate big-time Wall Street corruption. Heading the whole team is the dynamic Freddy Logan, but as he tries to piece together the puzzle of the wider corruption and scandal, it seems that the dead want to do a little more than talk after all.

This is a fabulous piece of genre-bending writing that takes classic story lines of crime and corruption and gives them a brand new twist. I enjoyed the corruption plot for what it was, as I’m sure many fans of the established genre would, and I thought that the science fiction elements were realistically integrated into the story so that it still made for a really credible read. It was refreshing to see messages from beyond the grave that didn’t solve the crime, but made it even more complicated and exciting. Dan Welch’s pacing was good and I was impressed by his snappy dialogue, though I wish the overall story had been a bit longer so we could get to know the characters more. Overall, I’d certainly recommend Death and Seven for its fresh perspective on corporate crime novels.

Marta Tandori

Gross malfeasance at big financial institutions is being prosecuted under treason in Death and Seven by Dan Welch. While public trust in the institutions is up and money is coming back into the markets, those individuals unlucky enough to be found guilty of treason end up summarily executed and on a bed in a top secret lab called Glimmer Development, located within the new veteran’s research hospital in Goshen, New York. Doctors Gregory Ellerby and Kenneth Conklin have developed a cutting edge technology to interrogate the corpses for additional information to be used by prosecutors in future take-downs. The whole operation is top secret but assistant Amanda Wilson, whose job it is to edit the corpse interrogation transcripts, crosses the line when she conducts her own interrogation of the newest subject, Sarah Russell, a wife and mother recently executed for treason, and then sends a letter to the dead woman’s attorney…

Interrogation of corpses, whistle blowers and summary executions are the tip of the iceberg in Dan Welch’s chilling thriller, Death and Seven. The book is quite frankly terrifying and somewhat Crichton-esque in its premise. With a bare-bones narrative and unembellished dialogue, both lend themselves well to the overall tone of the book. The pacing is fast and unrelenting, pulling the reader into the story from the first paragraph. However, the book is short, as are the chapters. Death and Seven is, nevertheless, an intelligent thriller that not only entertains but raises some interesting moral and technological dilemmas, among others.