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Book Review: The Wrong Dead Guy By Richard Kadrey
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The Wrong Dead Guy by Richard Kadrey

The Wrong Dead Guy
Another Coop Heist Book 2
Sequel to The Everything Box
By Richard Kadrey
Hardcover | Kindle | Audiobook
Publisher: Harper Voyager
Release date: February 28, 2017

You probably know author Richard Kadrey best from his Sandman Slim gritty urban fantasy series, but for his latest book, The Wrong Dead Guy, he continues the adventures of Charlie “Coop” Cooper, a master thief who saved the world in the first installment, The Everything Box. In this follow-up, Coop has reluctantly gone legit after being drafted into working for the Department of Peculiar Science, a Los Angeles-based top secret government agency dealing with oddities and strange supernatural items. This time around, the DOPS has a quick job for Coop: break into a local museum and steal an ancient Egyptian mummy named Harkhuf. Simple, right? Because we all know what happens when you mess with mummies. What could go wrong?

The mummy could awaken, that’s what could — and does — go wrong. And, as awakened mummies are wont to do, Harkhuf wants to find his old love so that they can take over the world together.

Returning for this new heist are fellow DOPS agents Giselle, Coop’s girlfriend, and Morty, Coop’s old friend and an expert lock-picker, along with new face — if you could call it that — Dr. Lupinsky, an Egyptologist who’s ghost is now embodied by a robotic octopus with a television head that projects the moving image of a cat (the doctor had accidentally transformed himself into a cat before his death).

The book jumps right into things with Coop on another heist — to steal office supplies for a coworker at the DOPS. This sequence sets the tone for the rest of the story, with it’s humor-infused action (think Lethal Weapon). But, for those of you haven’t read the first book, The Everything Box, you might be a little confused as to who these people are and what they are doing and why. I assumed some explanations would come, but they really didn’t. I had to reread the beginning again, but once I got the characters straight, the rest was easy to follow, since this was an all-new mission for the group.

While Coop is an interesting character on this own, his team members are more forgettable, except for the dead guy stuck in the TV – I wish there was more of him. I found Froehlich, the museum security guard who becomes Harkhuf’s thrall, to have the best storyline and the most humorous and witty dialogue. Froehlich is tasked with not only serving the mummy, but also trying to explain to the 3,000-year-old ruler the ways and constraints of this alternate modern-day Los Angeles. Taking over the world is not easy, especially when you’re expected to get all the necessary supplies in the middle of the night at the local Safeway (no, they don’t have any ivory ewers there!).

I also dug the two men who work in the “it’s so top secret it’s been forgotten about” basement of the DOPS, who become the unwitting pawns in the maniacal plans being devised by Nelson, the dead mailroom chief who’s out for some afterlife revenge against Coop.

The Wrong Dead Guy takes the standard awakened ancient mummy story and plants it into an even more outrageous modern-day setting, so that we never know what’s really going to happen next. This enjoyable sequel is a quick read that’s filled with magic, humor, action, and general preposterousness.

In this fast paced sequel to The Everything Box””the second entry in New York Times bestselling author Richard Kadrey’s comedic supernatural series””chaos ensues when Coop and the team at DOPS steal a not-quite-dead and very lovesick ancient Egyptian mummy wielding some terrifying magic.

Coop, a master thief sort of gone legit, saved the world from an ancient doomsday device””heroism that earned him a gig working for the Department of Peculiar Science, a fearsome top secret government agency that polices the odd and strange. Now Woolrich, Coop’s boss at the DOPS, has Coop breaking into a traveling antiquities show to steal a sarcophagus containing the mummy of a powerful Egyptian wizard named Harkhuf. With the help of his pals Morty, Giselle, and a professor that’s half-cat, half-robotic octopus, Coop pulls off the heist without a hitch.

It’s not Coop’s fault that when DOPS opened the sarcophagus they didn’t find the mummy they were expecting. Well, it was the right mummy, but it wasn’t exactly dead””and now it’s escaped, using a type of magic the organization hasn’t encountered before. Being a boss, Woolrich blames his underling for the screw up and wants Coop to find the missing Harkhuf and make it right, pronto.

Digging into Harkhuf’s history, Coop thinks the mummy is hunting for an ancient magical manuscript that will help him bring his old lover back to life.

Which wouldn’t be so bad if she wasn’t a warrior sorceress hell-bent on conquering the world with her undead armies.

Coop would very much like to run from the oncoming chaos. It’s one thing to steal a mummy, but another to have to deal with head-hunting bureaucrats, down-on-their luck fortune tellers, undead mailroom clerks, and a rather unimpressed elephant. Unfortunately, there’s nowhere to run. If he wants the madness to stop, he’s going to have to suck it up and play hero one more time. But if Coop manages to save the world AGAIN, he’s definitely going to want a lot of answers. And a raise.

The Wrong Dead Guy by Richard Kadrey full cover

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