Tuesday 16 January 2024

Dead In the Water - Barry J Hutchinson - Dan Deadman Space Detective Book 3

Dead Inside
Dan Deadman Space Detective Book 2
ISBN 9781912767076

This is the fifth story I have read in the Space Team Universe, but I have read many others by the author. Last year I encountered the works of J.D. Kirk I also discovered that Kirk publishes children’s books as Barry Hutchison, and other adult fiction as Barry J. Hutchison. I have read 24 stories published under the Kirk Name and am now working my way through the ones under the Hutchinson names, this is the 20th under that name. He has published over 200 books across the three pen names. If I had known that or I might not have picked up this first one. Friends call me a ‘completionist’ in that when I find an author I like, I try to read everything they have published. I have enjoyed all I have read from his pen and this one was no different. 

The description of this novel is:

“Dan Deadman's afterlife just hit an all new low. 

When a suspect explodes mid-interrogation and his office is taken over by an intergalactic despot, undead detective, Dan Deadman, reckons he's finally hit rock bottom. 

Banished to a dangerous underground hostel network, Dan becomes embroiled in a mass-murder investigation that will take him from the bowels of Down Here to the depths of the ocean. As the clues run out and the case collapses around him, Dan discovers a sinister plot that could wipe out two whole civilizations, and plunge the planet of Parloo into an endless bloody war. 

Featuring terrifying sea monsters, killer toilets, and an anatomically correct children's cartoon mascot who'll haunt your nightmares forever, "Dead in the Water" is the third book in the Dan Deadman Space Detective series, and perfect for fans of Space Team, The Dresden Files, and tiny aggressive Irish fellas.”

When doing research for the Dial D for Deadman review I found on Barry’s site a reading order for the Space Team Universe Books and Short Stories:

      (found in Space Team: A Lot of Weird Space Shizz)
3. Space Team: The Search for Splurt
4. Space Team: Song of the Space Siren
5. Space Team: The Guns of Nana Joan
6. Space Team: Return of the Dead Guy
7a. “Dead Men Don’t Get Paid” 
      (found in Space Team: A Lot of Weird Space Shizz)
8. Space Team: Planet of the Japes
9. “Dead Inside
10. Space Team: Time Titan of Tomorrow
12. Space Team: The King of Space Must Die!
13. Space Team: Sting of the Mustard Mines
14. Space Team: Sentienced to Death
15. Space Team: The Hunt for Reduk Topa
16. Konto Garr: Bounty Hunter and Occasional Babysitter

After this volume Deadman is part of the main Space Team story arcs, I am looking forward to getting caught up to that point. I have been intentionally jumping around Barry’s middle grade, young adult, and adult series. This was such a fun read. With a whole lot of slap stick humour, over the top antics. This book was laugh out loud funny. It reminds me of several series and authors, most of whom, I read when I was much younger. In a way this book and both series are like a jump back in time for me. The first to come to mind was Harry Harrison’s Bill the Galactic Hero series and his Stainless Steal Rat series, the next was Robert Asprin’s Phule’s Company Series. But for all the sense of a mash up of these other series there is something different about this offering. 

I absolutely love the concept of the Deadman series. And the universal translator that blocks swearing is very easy to decipher. As is obvious by the title Dan is dead, yea literally dead. He is trying to make a living as a Private Eye. Think Mickey Spillane's Mike Hammer, except he is dead, not a zombie. And has a conscience even though he fights it often. Ollie (Oledol) is a woman he rescued while closing a portal to the malwhere a place of nightmares. She says she cannot remember anything and she is now more than a bit of a side kick. And man does she have some kick. And Artur his pint size leprechaunish friend. The characters are great. The humour is maybe a bit juvenal. Think Deadpool with an automatic filter to clean up the language. These are so worth the read. 

This story picks up shortly after the previous novel in the series. In this one again we find out more about Ollie, her powers, and even Dan’s own backstory. We also see Dan blackmail his old boss. And build an arsenal worthy of a deadman, or a small army. We also learn a little more about those who live in floating cities above. And discover that there are others who live in the waters below.

This book marks the 46th offering from Hutchison I have read in the last 18 months, under the three names he publishes under. They have all been entertaining reads. Some have been excellent. Reading this as mentioned was like a throwback to stuff I read in my late teens and early twenties. It was a very fun read. I love the character of Dan Deadman and look forward to reading more of his stories in the standalone trilogy and in the larger Space Team Universe. A highly entertaining read I can recommend for mature readers who love the slap stick humour! And as I said before think Deadpool with an automatic filter to clean up the language. This book and series are so worth the read.   

Books by J.D. Kirk:

DCI Logan Series:

Robert Hoon Thrillers:

DI Heather Filson Series:

Contributed to:
Everyday Kindness: A Collection of Uplifting Tales to Brighten Your Day

Books as Barry J. Hutchison:
Dan Deadman Space Detective Series:

Space Team Series:
The Search for Splurt 
Song of the Space Siren 
The Guns of Nana Joan 
Return of the Dead Guy 
Planet of the Japes 
The Time Titan of Tomorrow 
The King of Space Must Die 
Sting of the Mustard Mines 
Sentienced to Death
The Hunt for Reduk Topa
A Lot of Weird Space Shizz: Collected Short Stories

Sidekicks Initiative Series:

The Bug Books Series:
Episode 1
Episode 2
Episode 3
Complete Season One

Other Books:

Children’s books as Barry Hutchison:
Invisible Fiends Series:
The Crowmaster 
Doc Mortis 
The Beast 
The Darkest Corners 

The Missing Remote of the Apocalypse
The Book of Doom 

Benjamin Blank Series:

Beaky Malone Series:

Generator Rex Series:

Living Ted Series:
Revenge of the Living Ted
Invasion of the Living Ted

Spectre Collectors Series:
Too Ghoul for School
A New York Nightmare!

Other works:

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