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Dead Connection

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Murray, a loner who communes with the dead in the town cemetery, hears the voice of a murdered cheerleader and tries to convince the adults that he knows what happened to her. But who believes him? He's a loser. Can he even believe in himself? Also comes Pearl, the daughter of the cemetery caretaker, who befriends Murray and tries to enter his world. Together they may prove the astonishing possibility that Nikki is closer than anyone thinks.

"Dead Connection is a smart, funny, very clever page turner; unique and fun to read. As much as I wanted the mystery solved, I didn't want it to end. You're going to like this book." --Chris Crutcher

225 pages, Hardcover

First published May 2, 2006

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Charlie Price

11 books17 followers

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5 stars
154 (14%)
4 stars
298 (28%)
3 stars
380 (36%)
2 stars
143 (13%)
1 star
55 (5%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 162 reviews
Profile Image for Thomas.
1,403 reviews8,137 followers
March 28, 2009
This book had great potenial, but the execution lacked a bit. The story was interesting, but never had any true strong points and there never seemed to be a climax to me. The characters were okay, I liked a few more than others. Sometimes I felt as if the story could've done without a few of the characters, and by the end I think the author was ignoring certain characters that really didn't pertain to the story at all. While the book was good enough to keep me reading, the ending did dissapoint and I probably won't re-read this one.
Profile Image for pietastic.
71 reviews3 followers
April 13, 2016
Try reading something different, I said. It's only $3 I said. That was $3 too much.

I was intrigued by the description, and if that indeed had been the actual book, it could have got 3 stars. But the description lied. The kid talking to the dead bit was *maybe* 20% of the book. The rest was from other perspectives about this investigation. And as investigations go, it was shoddy at best. Most of the time, I was just wondering what anything had to do with anything and the further I got into the book the more impatient I became. I wanted to give it up, but kept hoping there would be some payoff for some of the elements introduced. There wasn't.

It is this author's first book, and frankly, I can tell. Not to be discouraging toward him - as a wanna-be author myself I encourage anyone who wants to write to put their work out there - but I don't think this was quite ready for publication. Relationships were disingenuously developed, dialogue was immature (in the sense that it reminded me of my own writing when I was in jr. high), and most of the book did not actually move the plot forward or add to any character development in any meaningful way. It really could have benefited from some heavy editing and rewrites. The idea was promising, but it just doesn't pan out. Perhaps if he had stuck to a single perspective and fully explored that avenue it could have been a less frustrating read.
Profile Image for P.M..
1,209 reviews
July 2, 2021
I was going to give it 4 stars until I came to the end. I was positive that Deputy Gates would ask Murray to try to communicate with his son to find out if his death was an accident or suicide. Since that didn't happen, I am deducting 2 stars. I actually thought some of the pages of the book were missing since the ending was so abrupt.
Profile Image for Margaret Schoen.
318 reviews15 followers
September 22, 2010
Booktalk: Murray Kiefer is a loner with a weird name and a disaster of a mother. His real friends are at the cemetery. He sits at their graves and listens to the dead tell him their stories, and they listen to him. But now he hears a new voice crying out, asking for help, asking to be found. While Murray tries to find out who is calling to him so desparately, Deputy Sheriff Gates is on his own quest, searching for a missing teenager, searching for a killer.

Dead Connection has a supernatural bent, but at it's heart it's a classic who-dun-it. Teenager Nikki Parker has disappeared, and while we know her ghost is crying out to be found, it's going to take some time to find her body, let along track down her killer.

Price tells this story through multiple (living) viewpoints, among them, Murray; Gates; Pearl, the daughter of the cemetery caretaker; and Mr. Robert Barry Compton, a psychotic/meth addict who may have valuable information. The constant switches in point-of-view could be confusing, but Price does a good job of giving the characters distinct voices, so it's easy to keep track of who is talking. The story moves forward in short passages - some only a page or so - which keep the pace moving quickly.

While the missing teenager take central place in the plot, there are other issues going on here. Murray's mother is a drunk and drug addict whose neglect is what drove him to the cemetery in the first place. And interestingly for a YA novel, several of the main characters are adults. We most closely get to know Deputy Gates, and see his struggle to investigate this crime in the wake of his own son's death. But Price also gives a strong voice to Officer Vern Billup, a drunk, abusive man whose relationship to the case is not immediately clear. This narrative technique adds to the complexity of the story, but teens may have a harder time finding a character to relate to.
Profile Image for Theresa.
394 reviews
October 18, 2010
As I read this book I kept thinking "What?" as the action progressed. The ways in which the characters interact don't make sense. Everything is very contrived and the lack of apparent motivation is confusing. The 3rd person omniscient narration does not work. I know the wide range of characters is supposed to make the ending harder to see, and it does come out of nowhere because it turns out to be someone that's not even mentioned until the end of the book, but the way the other storylines intersect is nonsense. It doesn't make any sense that Billup shoots Murray and it's a little creepy that the detective takes Robert under his wing to replace his dead son. And then at the very end, they're just going to do dig up a body, WTF?

This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Anna Karras.
187 reviews10 followers
October 18, 2009
This book wasn't what I expected. The cover says, "He talks to the dead. The dead talk to him." I thought it would be more of a story about Murray, the kid they are talking about on the cover. But it really reads more like an episode of Law and Order. There was a crime committed, and the story jumps around from place to place and person to person to put the pieces together to solve the mystery. I guess I was hoping for more of a story about a boy who finds he has this talent/curse and must find a way to deal with it.

That being said, it still kept my interest.
25 reviews
May 28, 2019
Personal Response:
I liked this book but I didn’t like some of the formatting. I didn’t like how the book jumped from multiple points of view from chapter to chapter. It got hard to follow where the main story was going. Other than that the book was excellent and a good read.

Plot Summary:
Murray was a weird kid who didn’t have, what you would call, a “normal mother”. He was an outcast at school and didn’t have any friends, except the dead. Murray spent most of his time in the cemetery talking with the dead. One day Murray started to hear someone from the dead crying and wailing. He decided to try and figure it out. He had help from Pearl, a girl that wouldn’t stop bugging him. She wanted to know what he was doing. When he finally told her about his secret connection with the dead, she believed him. They learned that the crying was coming from a grave, and it was the girl that had been missing for months, Nikki. With the help of detectives, Pearl, Murray, and the police department they were finally able to figure out what happened to Nikki and find her killer.

In the begging of this book, Murray was very anti-social and didn’t talk to anyone. The first time Pearl came up to him, he shut her out. He didn’t like the living too much. Towards the middle of the book he opened up to Pearl and she accepted him. He started being a bit more social. By the end of the book, Murray would open up about his ability to three more people.

I recommend this book to anyone who wants a short read. I wouldn’t recommend this book to people who have trouble following a jumping plot line. Other books a person might like are No Passengers Beyond This Point and Gone.
June 13, 2021
When I read it I was really upset with out it just randomly ended. Now that I know it’s a series I feel slightly better. It was an alright story, I didn’t hate it, it had potential to be so much better that’s for sure. But it was alright
10 reviews
February 27, 2018
This book was overall pretty good. It reminded me a lot like that movie frankenweenie. The comedic elements were perfect for me. Such a strange type of humor but I️ laughed a few times (dark humor). All I wish is that the story built more to the resolution and that the characters (other than the main) were discovered more. A multi perspective would’ve been interesting.
Profile Image for Amanda .
432 reviews151 followers
September 14, 2017
I did not expect this book to bring tears to my eyes, but I've seen far too much death come far too soon. More than anything, I wish that I could communicate with the dead as Murray does in Dead Connection.
I thoroughly enjoyed the story. Murray makes for a great character, I really feel for him. His pain and loneliness seeps through the pages as he finds solace in the cemetery, escaping his home life through comforting those who died far too young.
Pearl and Robert, excuse me, Mister Robert Barry Compton also shine with wonderful character development. I found myself rooting for Robert and filled with pride as he started to remember things. Billup and Deputy Gates showed both sides of law-enforcement, the just and the ugly, which was refreshing.
Dead Connection was a novel with a little bit of everything in it; a good mystery, the drama of broken homes, and the coveted fantasy of clairvoyance
205 reviews34 followers
July 25, 2010
Dead Connection is unique to anything I have ever read before in many aspects, I don't believe I have ever read a book with a male character being able to communicate with the dead before, nor do I believe I have read a book that has been told from the perspective of so many characters. Of course, none of these diminish the story surprisingly. Generally, with so many characters the story becomes lost, however, I found Murray to be a particularly interesting and somewhat captivating character. He lives a far from perfect life, his mother has a reputation among the townsfolk for being with many men, once arrested for prostitution along with this, he is able to communicate with the dead and must practically fend for himself. Of course, his gift is what seems to pour life into Murray. Without his gift the story would have been nothing.

The storyline, centers around a local girls murder, several of the characters being police officers or suspects. The other main characters are Murray and Pearl, the daughter of the cemetery caretaker. Together the combined stories lead to the unraveling of the overall mystery. Of course, it isn't easy, it's hard to convince someone of where a body is buried when the reason you know is because the ghost themselves told you. Piece by piece the story of Nikki, the local cheerleaders vanishing is unraveled with some highly surprising results which are difficult to see coming even when they are right upon you.

The writing style is unique and somewhat fascinating, at times I preferred to think of this book as more of a collection of short stories, as the characters individual perspectives created that sort of feel, and also perhaps the fact that the change in perspective seemed to bring about a change in the day, so perhaps it really was more of a collection of connected short stories that somehow, cleverly and perfectly worked together to tell the story of a murder and a ghost whisperer. Of course, what you think of the way the story is told is entirely up to you. I found it refreshing and perfect for this particular occasion, I can imagine many other stories which would benefit from such a writing style. A book for the older teenage audience and above, Dead Connection will surprise you with something a little different and a little bit quirky if you keep an open mind.
20 reviews
December 22, 2016
Personal Response:
I really enjoyed this book! The way the author described the characters were good and the reader was able to make a mental image of what the characters looked like. There were points in the book were I got lost. The author did not make it clear enough to when there was a different character talking.

Plot Summary:
Murray lived with his mother who slept with many guys. He was a loner who visited the cemetery to talk to the dead, because he has the gift of communicating with them. He met this girl named Pearl and they became friends. Months ago, a cheerleader went missing and Murray thinks he hears her in the Cemetery. They eventually find the cheerleaders body and the man who put here there. The man was actually her cousin.

Murray started out being very shy and to himself. He was very scared about stuff. Later in the book, he grew confidence and made some friends. Pearl was very outgoing and bossy in the beginning. She grew closer to Murray and kinda warmed up to him.

This book kept me on my toes and kept me guessing on who the killer was. I recommend this book to teenagers and teenagers who like mystery. I give this book a 3 out of 5.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Lacy Lovelace.
311 reviews36 followers
April 7, 2014
It definitely was not what I expected. It was a murder mystery taken from the perspective of 6 people. The boy in the book was kind of a clairovoyant who could communicate with the deceased and considered a few as family since his mother was not involved. He befriends the caretaker, Jenochek, and his daughter, Pearl, and their friendship takes them on an adventure to find out..."What happened to Nikki Parker?" All the while a police officer, Gates, is working on the Nikki Parker case with the help of guy who has schizophrenia, Robert, who witnessed the incident before the disappearance of Nikki Parker. Another officer, Billup, has a bad drinking problem which causes him to black out and do inappropriate things.

Out of 5 stars I would probably give it 3 or 4. It was not the best book I've ever read because I felt, in some places, the plot was drawn out, but it was pretty good. It did capture my attention and make me wonder who was involved with the disappearance of Nikki Parker? You'll just have to read the book and find out....
Profile Image for George Parker.
48 reviews4 followers
January 29, 2016
The premise for Dead Connection is intriguing...a boy in a cemetery who can speak with the dead involved in a missing person mystery.

Charlie Price tells this story through multiple viewpoints, which was also interesting. One of those other viewpoints is that of a mentally challenged young man. I really enjoyed this perspective.

I had hoped to read more from Murray's perspective, the boy who can communicate with the dead. I was certainly left wanting to hear more about this guy. I believe Charlie Price has continued this series, which is a good thing.

The weak point of Dead Connection was the mystery's resolution. I hesitate to give spoilers, but I think Charlie Price ran afoul of one of the basic rules of mystery stories... lay all of the evidence and suspects out in front of your reader early in the story, so your reader has a fair chance to solve the mystery before the end.

In all, though, I enjoyed Dead Connection and look forward to other books with these characters.
1 review
February 23, 2018
Dead Connection by Charlie Price is a mystery fiction book. Murray is one of the main characters and he is able to talk to the dead. Deputy Gates is also one of the main characters in the story, he is trying to figure out this high school girl's death. At the same time, Murray thinks he hears another voice in the cemetery, but it's different from the others. Mr.Janochek owns the cemetery and he has a daughter named Pearl and she helps Murray figure out the new voice he hears. Murray really thinks he knows what happened to the girl and why.
I think the setting is perfect for this book. It really helps me picture and understand the book a little better. It makes this book a lot more mysterious also. I really think that Pearl is an important character in this book. She would do anything to help Murray and I think that is cool. I thought there could be many different themes in this book depending on how you see it. I thought one of the themes was, Never judge a book by it's cover because when Murray and Pearl first met they thought differently about each other by what they did or looked, but they ended up being good friends.
My overall impression of this book is pretty good. I thought it got confusing when it would switch to the different point of views, but I really liked it. Not my favorite book to read, but it was good. It got boring in some chapters because the characters in that chapter were not my favorite. I really thought overall it was a fun book to read because it was mysterious.
4 reviews1 follower
January 3, 2020
Occasionally, when I walk through the library, the cover of a book catches my eye. That’ s how I came across Dead Connection by Charlie Price. The cover of the mystery novel is from the perspective of someone who is in a grave, looking up at the sky. I was intrigued from the beginning because anything involving death, mystery, and crime is right up my alley. The plot starts out by introducing the main protagonist, Murray Kiefer. He is a teenage boy who is, for the most part, neglected by his alcoholic mother. To cope with this, he spends most of his time in a nearby graveyard, where he talks to the dead. Befriends them, even. Then Nikki Parker, a girl from his school, disappears. A few days after, Murray hears a female crying sound coming from a grave that was dug on the day of her disappearance. The plot changes drastically throughout the book, going from just a weirdly interesting story to a full on crime investigation. I enjoyed this book up until the very end because there was no resolution. The author never revealed if Nikki Parker was truly dead, or where the crying sound was coming from. Although Murray said that Nikki’ s body was in that same grave that was dug on the day she went missing, it was never confirmed because the coffin was not exhumed. I do not regret reading this book, but I wish it had ended differently. However, I would not suggest this book to a friend because I would not want them to also feel the same frustration of not knowing how the story ends.
1 review
September 25, 2017
Dead Connection
By Charlie Price

I actually enjoyed the book. This Book is about a kid named Murray, he seems like a normal kid at First but there’s more to him than meets the eye. It’s a third person Novel, the main Conflict is that a girl named Nikki Parker is missing and nobody knows a thing. Although when Murray Hears a new voice, He might find out just what happened.

What I liked about the book was the fact that you’re gonna think, that someone did it or something happened, but that’s not the case. It’s gonna be someone you least expect it to be. It has a lot of plot twists & it’s slow at first but then you’ll get hooked on it, a couple pages after the first few. A lesson I may have learned is that, even if people turn their back on you, don’t give up, keep going and Try your best.

Well I don’t really dislike anything about the book, other than the fact that It’s slow to Start with. I didn’t feel like I was gonna like it but the more I read, the better it got. It should’ve added more Bad words though because, I feel like most of the people in the book would be cussing. So I wish it was more realistic.

I’m not really sure who to recommend this book to, I guess My Friend Best friend Sujey. She doesn’t like reading, in fact she hates it but, I don’t know, I think she’ll be interested in this book.
Profile Image for Cindy Mitchell *Kiss the Book*.
6,001 reviews178 followers
December 24, 2017
Price, Charlie Dead Connection, 240 p. Roaring Book Press –

Murray has been communing with the youngest residents of the local cemetery for some time now – to escape his home situation, to escape his school situation. After a very rough beginning, Murray forms a friendship with Pearl, the daughter of the cemetery’s caretaker. She supports him when he hears a new voice – one that he thinks belongs to a girl who disappeared months earlier. While I enjoyed the unfolding of the mystery, a wide variety of swear words and a plot point involving a violent alcoholic left me cold. A book for the older crowd.

Profile Image for Anna-Leigh Moore.
128 reviews
May 18, 2021
When I started reading this book, I thought it sounded very familiar. Turns out, this was my second read of the book. I can't say how I felt about this book the first time I read it, but I know that I was slightly let down with this second read. I think the premise of the book is really great. I love a good ghost story that has elements other than horror involved. This book has an interesting mixture of mystery and friendship. I wish that the plot had been structured differently though. I feel like there were times when the plot got confusing because there were so many perspectives taking place.
Profile Image for Stephanie.
408 reviews11 followers
September 5, 2017
I really liked this story and the character work. There are good but fallible people throughout whom I cared about. One prominent turd, but the rest... I really rooted for them.

Murray talks to the dead in the cemetery where Pearl's father is the groundskeeper. Murray and Pearl are unlikely friends, but soon they find themselves with a mystery on their hands.

I appreciated the twists and turns, appreciated that I had a few different theories throughout the book, but was still surprised and satisfied with what transpires.
Profile Image for Brandy Sharpe.
222 reviews9 followers
April 19, 2019
...When I reached the last page and realized there weren't anymore, I dropped the book and I swore.

I couldn't put it down.

I'm considering writing Mr. Price, including a picture of the book, and demanding moar of Murray and Pearl.

But, why did I give it a four star? Listen I could list my reasons, but the good of this novel kind of out weigh the bad reasons. Read it for yourself and I'm sure you'll find them... And you'll agree.

Would definitely recommend.

That ending though...
Profile Image for Xokaytuhlin.
3 reviews
November 10, 2019
If you’re looking for a deep mystery with good writing and beautifully done ending you’re looking at the wrong book. It had good ideas but it was poorly executed. The ending felt rushed and it ended abruptly with no real closure. There was no passion in Price’s novel. It felt like it was written as a money maker instead of a book that keeps the reader captive. I do not recommend this book for any reader
Profile Image for Heidi.
472 reviews5 followers
November 27, 2018
This junior book was FANTASTIC! A murder mystery with a slight supernatural element. It led me along and I thought I had figured it out but the book threw me for a twist at the end. I will highly recommend to my junior readers!
Profile Image for Elizabeth.
Author 5 books7 followers
November 19, 2020
This writer really doesn't like women. Everyone in the book just seemed grumpy and to be honest there wasn't much pay off for a murder mystery plot line either. I have the extra star because it held my attention long enough to finish it.
6 reviews
June 29, 2017
It was okay but I would like to know more about the aftermath. The book ends on a rather abrupt note.
Profile Image for Heather.
85 reviews
June 28, 2018
Most impressed with a law officer treating a mentally ill possible suspect kindly and with respect.
May 24, 2019
In my opinion Dead Connection was a good book with a good plot but it wasn’t well executed. Charlie Price did well at bring all of the different lives in the book together as one but it would sometimes be confusing when hopping from character to character. A book like this isnt really a good book to just pick up and read, you really have to be into it to understand it. With that being said I would only recommend this book for people who are faithful readers and are great at paying attention to detail. Overall this book had a good story but not well written.
Profile Image for Laura.
208 reviews44 followers
March 28, 2022
A smart detective story with extrasensory perceptions . Oh and they spend a lot of time in cemeteries.
I can see this being an interesting theater play.
3 reviews
March 8, 2016
My Favorite character in the book was Pearl. She was my favorite character because she stood on what she believed since the beginning no mater how crazy it sounded like she wasn't afraid to show what her believes were. She also I think was really nice and sweet with the people that surrounded her. That's why she is my favorite character...
The question I have for the author is, why didn't Gary pay...?
One of the quotes I liked was: "These people need me. Everybody needs a friend! - Murray
This book is a about a girl that has disappears and no body knows were she is. Investigators are investigating this case, While The main character Murray talks to the dead people in the cemetery (only friends he has ). Because he's there every day he knows all the voices but then a new voice appears and he thinks its the girl that disappeared, Nikki (cheerleader). With his gift he starts following the case and in search of Nikki's body.
The setting is in the cementary
It's written in 3rd person
The main character is Murray, He doesn't have any friends. He's always on the cementary. His mom is a prostitute and doesn't care about him...
The character's problem is that he is afraid nobody 's gonna believe him if he tells his gift.
Murray and Pearl at the end find the place Nikki was berried and they discover who did it..
Part of series
My opinion is that he left some details out... like the author didn't answer them. And My reaction was surprised in like half of the book.
I alluden to read this book at night cause I think that's how you will like feel the book
I will recommend this book to people who like halloween or like suspence.
Charles prince before writing this story was walking and passed through a cementary. He started reading the graves then when he left the cementary he started wondering there stories, there lifes... Two years later he wrote a story who was alienated from school and spend his rest of the time in the cementary... Charles was raised in Colorado and Montana. He lived in Italy, New York, Oakland and Mexico before seteling in Northern California. One f his hobbies is playing and writing music...
I belive the writing was good, It had strong characters who had interesting facts that the reader will put emotions in. I think the writing was intreating for being a book of only 227 pages. What I didn't like was that the writer left some unanswered details and answers...
Compared to If I stay (a book that I read and enjoy) this book had less story to tell and more of what will the story continue in. In the book If I stayed it had both story of the passed (more than present) and the story that was happening(present). This book is about romance, drama, and suspence. Dead connection is Fantasy,mystery.
Reader: Is mystery all you like to write?
I think this book is entertaining and had very good twists. I liked it most because it shows how when you have friends problems are easier to solve. I enjoyed a lot the book. Although at the end it was unsatisfying but it was funny and it kept me going cause the suspence was what kept in going.
Charles Price

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