Paperback: 333 pages
Publisher: Pocket Books Sep 2000
I found some time to read while I was on vacation...Shallow Graves was one I read on the plane. Shallow Graves is the first in the John Pellam series.
Pellam is a location scout in the film business. In this first novel, he is in upstate New York. I enjoyed this because the location where he is scouting is only about a half hour from where I live. I wasn't really fond of Pellam...he seemed rather cynical and arrogant and he wasn't too particular about the marital status of the women he was interested in, or about being faithful to the girlfriend back in California. However, I warmed to him as the story progressed.
Pellam is scouting in a small town that, on first observation, appears to be a typical small town with typical small town people. It doesn't take long for Pellam to realize that there is a sinister side to the town and that he is not wanted there. The more certain townspeople try to get rid of him, the more determined he is to stay.
All in all, the book isn't Deaver's best, but it's not the worst book I every read. The characters were all rather shallow and very few of them were even likable. The plot was unoriginal, and although it won't bore you to distraction, it won't raise your blood pressure either.
Synopsis (from the author's website)
Location scouting is to the film business what Switzerland is to war. John Pellam had been in the trenches of film making, with a promising Hollywood career — until a tragedy sidetracked him. Now he's a location scout, who travels the country in search of shooting sites for films.
When he rides down Main Street, locals usually clamor for their chance at fifteen minutes of fame. But in a small town in upstate New York, Pellam experiences a very different reception — his illusionary world is shattered by a savage murder, and Pellam is suddenly center stage in an unfolding drama of violence, lust, and conspiracy, which have a stranglehold on this less-than-picture-perfect locale.