Play Dead Book Summary and Study Guide

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of Play Dead

Onyx, Jan 2004, 6.99, 384 pp.
ISBN 0431411374

Savannah medical examiner John Casper is performing an autopsy when he suddenly realizes that the body is still alive, the man is still breathing albeit very slowly. When the man eventually dies, it is discovered that he had tetrodotoxin in his bloodstream, a poison that doesn't cross the blood brain barrier so victims are paralyzed and unable to speak, but totally aware of what is going on around thim.
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Homicide detectives Elise Sandberg and David Gould head the investigation. As a baby Elise was abandoned on a grave; her father was thought to be a root doctor and a conjurer so she is aware that the public will believe they are dealing with dark magic because superstitions run deep in Savannah. David is running from his own problems but unlike Elise he doesn't believe in the supernatural. More victims are found as body moves out of the grave before dying. The perpetrator poisons David leaving him paralyzed and needing help, but only Elise might save him if she can put all the pieces of the puzzle together in time.

Harriet Klausner

The review of this Book prepared by Harriet Klausner

Chapter Analysis of Play Dead

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Plot & Themes

Composition of Book descript. of violence and chases 10%Planning/preparing, gather info, debate puzzles/motives 40%Feelings, relationships, character bio/development 40%How society works & physical descript. (people, objects, places) 10% Tone of story    -   suspenseful (sophisticated fear) How difficult to spot villain?    -   Very difficult--no foreshadowing/clues Time/era of story:    -   2000+ (Present) What % of story relates directly to the mystery, not the subplot?    -   70% Kind of investigator    -   police procedural, American Kid or adult book?    -   Adult or Young Adult Book Any non-mystery subplot?    -   life in that culture Crime Thriller    -   Yes Murder Mystery (killer unknown)    -   Yes

Main Character

Gender    -   Female Profession/status:    -   police/lawman Age:    -   20's-30's Ethnicity/Race    -   White/American


United States    -   Yes The US:    -   Southeast

Writing Style

Accounts of torture and death?    -   generic/vague references to death/punishment Amount of dialog    -   significantly more dialog than descript

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Anne Frasier Books Note: the views expressed here are only those of the reviewer(s).
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