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Book Review

Publisher's Note:

Douglas has grown up around the business of death. Generations of his family have run the Mortimer Family Funeral Home. The mortician and gravediggers are all his buddies. And the display room of caskets is an awesome place for hide and seek. It’s business as usual in Douglas’s small New England town. Until one day an incredibly out of the ordinary murder victim is brought to the funeral home. And more startling: others follow. On the cusp of Halloween, a serial killer has arrived. And unsatisfied with the small-town investigation, Douglas enlists his friends to help him solve the mystery. With sumptuous descriptions of a bucolic town and it’s quirky people, fascinating yet middle grade–appropriate insider information about the funeral process, and a crackling mystery with a heart-pounding conclusion?Death and Douglas has something for readers young and old.…

Death and Douglas

by J. W. Ocker

Overall Book Review:

Douglas is the son of a long line of morticians. He gets death – better than most adults. However, murder is a different thing. In this novel, J.W. Oker tells the story of a young man who comes to terms with death in the form of murder.

Douglas is not like most boys his age, and yet the reader easily forms an attachment with him. His town has a serial killer. His loveable friend and intriguing love interest team up together to help the “coffee-drinkers” solve these murders in hopes of returning order to their town.

This suspenseful novel is perfect for Halloween. It is eerie and creepy with all the components of a thriller – excitement, uncertainty, mystery, and murder. While geared towards boys, there is a supporting female character. These pre-teens are adventurous and get into a few scrapes along their journey of discovery of the world around them.

This book was sent to Compass Book Ratings for review by Sky Pony Press

Content Analysis:

Profanity/Language:  None

Violence/Gore:  Dead man in coffin; pondering how much dirt would be needed to fill a minor’s grave, take hearts of vampires, bash brains of zombies, shove curses down throat of witches; rumors of a Dr. would reanimate monsters from sewn together corpse parts stolen from the cemetery who was hanged for his crimes; crabs scissoring toes; report of parental death; rumor of murder; letter cut into face of victim; threat of murderer killing again; ashes of relative in urn; discussion of murders and murderers; mental image of a murderer with a bloody knife; subliminal warning to not get murdered; adult killed by stabbing; report of a man going crazy on his family – implied murder; talk of needing another murder for more evidence; Biblical murders recounted; Jesus as murdered victim; another murder occurs; letter carved on cheek; imagined coffins filled with murder victims with letters carved on their faces; description of finger missing digits; hot cider referred to autumn blood; large jaws of a monster imagined to devour him; deformed, pickled animals; animal oddities; rumor of person being cut; bloody letters; people killed throughout history; description of an illustration of the Grimm Reaper dragging a body; letter carved on face; murder or mutilated – references to ways of dying; rumor of family murdered in a house; imagined blood oozing from windows; minor kidnapped, threatened with knife, and cut on cheek; imagery of the threat of a guillotine blade; adult grabbed minor while searching for blade; suspenseful chase; imagery of lungs full of pine needles, bones crumbled, and skull full of boiling blood; plastic severed hand hanging from mirror; knife blade against chest; minor kicked adult in the head; backhoe strikes person – killing him; imagery of persons having suffered amputations due to missing objects they usually always carried.

Sex/Nudity:  Minors wondering what naked woman looks like; minors hug.

Mature Subject Matter:

Death, murders, serial killers.

Alcohol / Drug Use:


Overall Book Rating

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About the Reviewer

My favorite books are ones that change me and my perceptions of the world in a significant way. My favorite genre is probably historical fiction with biographies as a close second.