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The Undertaker

3.96  ·  Rating details ·  470 ratings  ·  95 reviews
Curiosity can kill more than cats, but when Pete Talbott found himself at the wrong end of Gino Parini's .45 reading his own obituary, it was a mystery he couldn't leave alone. From the cornfields of Ohio to the gritty slums of Chicago, a bloody kitchen in a Back Bay townhouse, New York's Washington Square, and the nation's Capitol itself, the hunt is on. Someone with a pe ...more
ebook, 322 pages
Published February 1st 2011 by William F. Brown (first published January 10th 2011)
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Average rating 3.96  · 
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You know what’s the worst thing that could happen to someone that is sort of susceptible to conspiracy theories? Reading a well written novel that makes them go “A-HA!! I KNEW it!!!”. This is one of those novels.
One of the end results of reading it is I got freaked out by how possible it felt this could be a real story. You ever have that feeling, after reading a thriller/suspense?

Anyways, the novel kicks off very strong, with what I think is one of the most memorable scenes (f
Pete Talbott's wife dies. He goes on a bender in Mexico and then finds out he died. It just gets worse from there. When he refuses to stay dead, people keep trying to rectify the situation. And he finds other people who seem to have died twice.
Great idea for a story. It just goes on a little too long.
Debra Martin
Nov 05, 2011 rated it really liked it
Peter Talbott is a systems engineer living in Boston. He is still grieving over his wife, Terri, who died a year ago of cancer. When a hit man surprises him in his car and shows him an obituary for both he and Terri, his anger spins out of control. How dare anyone disrespect the memory of his wife, never mind the fact, that he isn’t dead. He goes to Columbus, Ohio to attend the bogus funeral and finds himself in the middle of a sinister plot involving an undertaker, the local sheriff and a high- ...more
Shelleyrae at Book'd Out
Apr 25, 2011 rated it really liked it
William F Brown gets the combination of fast paced action, danger, humour and romance just right in The Undertaker. Peter Talbott finds himself embroiled in a murderous conspiracy when he investigates a suspicious obituary that names he and his late wife as the unfortunate deceased buried in Ohio. What begins as a personal crusade to protect his wife's name spirals into a cat and mouse chase across the country when Peter discovers the shady links between a lawyer, town Sheriff, funeral home and ...more
Elizabeth of Silver's Reviews
Mr. Brown's book is an e-pub on Kindle, Sony, Nook, IBook, and all the others.

Two obituaries, two stating he died in Mexico the other stating he and his wife died in Columbus, Ohio....but how could that be....Peter Emerson Talbot was alive and reading the obituary, and he had attended the funeral in Ohio. Attending this funeral sure ended up with a lot of trouble for Peter and also a lot of information that could put a number of folks behind bars. Something was pretty
Rick Molitor
Sep 22, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good thriller

I thought that it started a little slow. Then It really got going. It was quick paced and quite interesting. The characters of Pete and Sandy meshed well. It was a good suspense read but with some good funny touches with the interaction of the two main characters. I hope there will be more.
Article first published as Book Review: The Undertaker by William F. Brown on Blogcritics.

Using the names of others long dead to hide insidious crimes seems like an odd way to do business. The obituary Peter Talbot sees of his own and his wife’s death in a Columbus Ohio newspaper is unbelievable. Not only is he not dead, but his loving wife actually did precede him in death, not in an auto accident as listed, but of cancer. Much of the information was correct but neither he nor his wife had eve
Aug 08, 2011 rated it it was amazing
This story was delicious. Snarky and wired, cynical and funny, it was everything a good mob thriller should be and more. For me as a reader, a thriller needs to be able to make me forget that the violence is actually violence and that crappy people are just that and make me want to see how all the elements come together; The Undertaker certainly delivered on that promise.

Pete Talbott has the unfortunate problem of people never seeming to grasp that he's not dead. He was falsely
Martha Cheves
Dec 28, 2011 rated it it was amazing
The Undertaker – Review by Martha A. Cheves, Author of Stir, Laugh, Repeat and Think With Your Taste Buds Dessert

TALBOTT, PETER EMERSON, AGE 33, OF Columbus, died Sunday at Varner Clinic following a tragic automobile accident. President and founder of Center Financial Advisors of Columbus. Formerly of Los Angeles, a 1999 graduate of UCLA and a lieutenant, US Army Transportation Corps. By authority of Ralph Tinkerton, Executor (See also TALBOTT, THERESA JUNE, wife, accompanying). Fune
Wendy Hines
Jan 16, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Peter Talbot is a geek who is just going through the motions of life and has been for the past year since his wife Terri died from cancer. So he is stunned when one evening leaving for work, a large man slides into the passenger side of his vehicle and shows Peter two obituaries from the paper, his and his wife's.

The obituary states they were killed in a car accident in Ohio and the funeral is the next day. The man in the passenger seat, Gino Parino, urges Peter to forget about his visit, it is
Sep 13, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Computer programmer, Peter Talbott, is still grieving after the death of his beloved wife, Terri. Lonely, he buries himself in his work until one day he finds himself held at gunpoint by Gino Parini. Parini not only shoves a gun in his face, but he also shoves an obituary in his face. The problem? The obituary is Pete’s, but how could that be when he is very much alive? Then, Parini shows him Terri’s obituary, except this is not her original one. Of course Pete is confused. The obituaries featur ...more
Kathy Martin
Jul 05, 2011 rated it it was amazing
This was a taut, action-packed thriller that grabbed me from the first page and didn't let me go until the Epilogue. This is the story of an ordinary man who is dragged into a situation that he doesn't understand and who outsmarts the variety of villains.

Pete Talbott is just drifting through life after a series of personal blows. He loses his beloved wife after a long fight with cancer and then he loses his job due to downsizing and outsourcing. He moves from California to Boston to
Jun 07, 2011 rated it liked it
THE UNDERTAKER by William F. Brown has been classified as a "fast-paced thriller" and as a "cliffhanger." Yes, these descriptions are accurate but they don't paint the entire picture. THE UNDERTAKER is a cliffhanger and a fast-paced thriller that incorporates self-deprecating and irreverent humor for a laugh-out loud enjoyable read.

Peter Talbott was erroneously classified as dead a few years ago when his car was stolen and he was being "held" in a Mexican jail. At the time Pete was i
Sep 04, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Wow! What an action-packed adventure! Lots of running, avoiding, and clever tricks! Loved it!

Extended Review Original Posted on Words I Write Crazy:

This was a really high tension-packed adventure novel. Full of threats, various tricks, like buying 2 tickets one way, then going again disguised for another, the way they wanted to go, and various chase scenes, well, yeah, this was a very clever book! I really enjoyed it!

Pete was a tortured character, he'd lost hi
Aug 03, 2011 rated it really liked it
Peter Talbott buried his wife in LA following her death from cancer; he assumed that was it for married life and Terri, whom he loved more than anything. Imagine his surprise when he is handed his OWN obituary, along with that of his wife in Columbus, OH many months after the real event. Coincidence? Probably not.
Peter doesn’t mind so much being “dead” but by putting his wife’s name in the paper as well sets him off. Working for your brother-in-law has perks – like taking time off to drive
The Sunday Book Review
Mar 02, 2011 rated it really liked it
If you like suspense, action and are into conspiracy theories, I recommend this book.

The story line was the first thing to grab me. Here is a man who lost his wife and everything he stood for and now someone is not only using his name but his dead wife’s name to bury mysterious people. Not once, but several times! Having nothing else to lose, Pete travels around trying to find out not only who is doing this but why, while trying to get killed for nosing around.

The main ch
Feb 20, 2012 rated it it was amazing
What happens when you read your own obituary, along with your previously deceased wife's, in this morning’s local newspaper? Do you leave everything alone or dig up the truth - no matter the cost? Pete Talbott's got his work cut out for him to figure out the truth. Now he’s on the run as he tries to stay steps ahead of the villains. He feels he can trust no one but Sandy, the ex-wife of one of the other victims. Fast paced and action-packed, The Undertaker will keep you glued to your seat. The p ...more
Aug 02, 2011 rated it really liked it
My thoughts:
This is an action packed thriller from the go! The characters are well thought out and realistic. The plot is twisty, intriguing and entertaining. The book flows smoothly as Pete finds himself in situations that get more and more harrowing. The story is well written. The world is easy to believe and invest in.
I'm always one to dive right into a thriller, but truly love the ones with political intrigue! I was on the edge of my seat while Pete attempts to outmaneuver the bad guy
Dec 25, 2012 rated it really liked it
Pete Talbott is a software engineer trying to recover from the death of his wife when a Mafia hitman shows him a set of obituaries. They're for Pete and his wife and they're only a few days old. Pete decides to investigate on his own and the trail leads to murder, mayhem, government conspiracy and the real threat of being killed. Nice thriller.
Oct 04, 2012 rated it really liked it
Okay, so maybe William F. Brown isn't yet a Cobin or Crais or Parker - but he's closing on them and has proven he can weave a darn good story. The dialog was pretty sharp, story parhaps a little far-fetched, but keeps you on the edge of your seat and is really hard to put down. I will definitely be looking for more from Mr. Brown. Well done.
Aug 05, 2012 rated it really liked it
Slow start, but the rest was quick. I didn't care for the ending, but it did keep me up late last night so it's worthy of four stars. If the author has a sense of humor as good as his characters, I bet he'd be fun to hang out with.
Ray Flynt
Jul 09, 2011 rated it really liked it
This book has an intriguing premise, but it was difficult to suspend disbelief on a few items. It was fairly fast-paced. The protagonist was believable, but the relationship with his new love interest never seemed to take off (for me).
David Donaghe
Oct 16, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I found the undertaker to be a fasted paced exciting thriller that keeps you turning the page.
Dec 08, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I thoroughly enjoyed this. Talbot is witty and knows how to uncover a mystery!
Matt Laduke
Aug 09, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Great page turner. Kept me awake, and endend up being a quick read. Missed by bus stop and went 1/2 mile out of the way because I was too interested to look up.
Stanley McShane
Jun 13, 2017 rated it really liked it
Not the first William F Brown thriller I've read and won't be the last! The Undertaker starts a new series featuring Peter Talbot and Sandy, the latter of whom manages to overcome Peter's year long grieving process for his late wife, Terri. Terri died of cancer and it has all but killed Peter as well, turning him into a robot, going through life mechanically--unemotionally. Gino Parini is the first to shake up his life by showing him an obituary of himself, supposedly dying in an auto accident. ...more
Sheri  Konschak
Mar 18, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Imagine seeing your own obituary

While reading your paper. This is why the story starts. Throw in the Undertaker whom you meet while strapped down naked on an autopsy table with a scalpel ready to slice open one of your arteries so you bleed to death really slowly. Throw in crooked politicians, the mob, the FBI, and a new love. This is an easy read and keeps you reading until the end.
Joan Barstad
Jan 21, 2019 rated it really liked it
This is the first novel I've read from William F. Brown.

He has his main character, Pete Talbott, going from one town or city to the next, trying to answer some very strange questions. Like, Who is buried in that grave?

This is a riveting who-done-it. It involves bad guys. and good least we usually think of them as being good.

I recommend this one . Very well written.
Dec 29, 2018 rated it really liked it
Interesting but rather long. Peter Talbott is handed his obituary and he tries to track down why . It is a chase from beginning to end. He meets Sandy in Chicago and they become a pair but are still chased until they end up in Washington DC hoping a Senator can help them . Suspensefull reading
Carolyn G Heidkamp
Kept me guessing. Great plot. Loved it
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I live in Florida. As a Vice President of the real estate subsidiary of a Fortune 500 corporation, I traveled widely in the US and abroad. A native of Chicago, I earned a BA in History and Russian Area Studies and a Master of Urban Planning degree from the University of Illinois. (Go Illini!) I’ve been active in politics (I had the stupidity to run and the misfortune to win a -year seat on a Count ...more
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“Praise the Lord for Catholic girls schools …” 1 likes
“It's probably raining out there, you know.” “Talbott, when you're in love, you can walk right between the drops.” 0 likes
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