A detective story with a twist, What the Dead Said is clever, intriguing and remarkably hard to put down.
Sydney, Australia, 2021. Ghosts are everywhere and everyone can see them. Everyone, that is, except Sckel. Co-opted into the Apparitions Group, Sckel gropes his way through his early cases. He encounters underworld figures—both living and dead—befriends an eccentric inventor and his robot creation, and becomes entangled in the ghostly push to further open the gateway between the living and the dead. Part detective story, part urban fantasy, part science fiction, but mostly mystery, What the Dead Said depicts a future Sydney in which property prices are the least of anyone’s troubles.
Dragonfall Press 2012
D.J. Daniels’ debut novel, What the Dead Said, is a delightfully original mix of genres. A self-professed fan of speculative fiction, Daniels displays her affection for the exploratory genres remarkably well in her first novel. Set in Sydney, Australia, in the year 2021, What the Dead Said incorporates elements of detective fiction, urban fantasy and science fiction. What the Dead Said is a mystery that takes place in a world overrun by ghosts. The interesting twist within this eclectic mix is that ghosts can be (and are) seen by everyone. Everyone, that is, except the story’s protagonist. The uniqueness Daniels brings to speculative fiction is both welcome and refreshing, not to mention evident in What the Dead Said. … Daniels seamlessly weaves the various genres into her tale. She does so with charm and an underlying humor that makes the story a delightful read. Humour is so often underappreciated in fiction. It is, more often than not, misused and abused by writers who fail to capture it correctly. For D.J. Daniels it comes naturally. What the Dead Said offers readers a refreshingly unique take on speculative genres like science fiction and urban fantasy. It does so with wit and charm and reflects well on the author and her undoubtedly bright future.
This is really an entertaining story, full of twists and intrigue. It reads something in the style of a dragnet episode–only in Sydney, and with ghosts and high-tech gadgets. Those who are so inclined can follow every facet of Sckel’s cases, drawing their own lines between the dots, or simply disengage and enjoy the ride.
Really enjoyed this quirky read. A novel approach to the detective story. I recommend it to everyone.