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Watch Me Die

3.84  ·  Rating details ·  1,222 ratings  ·  92 reviews
Harvey Mapes is a 26-year-old security guard who spends his nights in a guard shack outside a gated community in Southern California, reading detective novels, watching reruns, and waiting for his life to finally start... which happens when Cyril Parkus, one of the wealthy residents, asks Harvey to follow his beautiful wife Lauren.

The lowly security guard jumps
Kindle Edition, 224 pages
Published June 8th 2011 by Adventures in Television (first published 2005)
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Average rating 3.84  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,222 ratings  ·  92 reviews

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Mar 08, 2018 rated it really liked it
Author Lee Goldberg has what most Mystery/Thriller writes lack; a literary sense of humor. Private security guard Harvey Mapes works the graveyard shift on the gate of an exclusive Los Angeles suburb reading detective novels. Since he's up on all the TV and fiction detective series, he feels entirely qualified to accept an offer from wealthy resident Cyril Parkus to follow his beautiful wife Lauren and report back if she's unfaithful. He discovers he has a knack for detecting until confronted wi ...more
Evan Rail
Dec 09, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book. It's got a great premise whereby the "hero," such as he is, seems pretty damn close to a real person — a slovenly, underachieving, regular Joe who almost accidentally turns into a halfway-decent detective by the end. We're not talking about a superhero. We're talking about a guy who drives a beater and who gets beaten up. His transformation is a hell of a lot of fun to watch.

Truth be told, I'd probably give this 92 out of 100. One shortcoming: the ending kind of flops over th
Betty Godsey-Brown
Nov 06, 2014 rated it really liked it

I bought this book on my Kindle, and was in the middle of another book when I started reading it. The language and sex were a little much and sometimes I felt sorry for the lead character. He seemed to be "mentally challenged" and wanted to be a "PI," like mystery books portray, but instead he seemed to be more of a bumbling idiot. This author took this character and literally brought him to adulthood by the end of the book. He is not the same person in the end and I finished the book r
Jul 18, 2015 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed the tone of this book more than the plot. The story was well-crafted, and the characters were at least theoretically plausible; but it was the painful vulnerability of the main character that drove the book. Goldberg did an excellent job of making Harvey's Walter Mitty persona lovable. I really enjoyed the frequent reference to some of my favorite fictitious detectives (Joe Mannix, Jim Rockford, Kinsey Milhone, Elvis Cole, and Travis McGee to name a few), whose activities and antics we ...more
Hugh McBride
Oct 30, 2017 rated it liked it
Lee Goldberg created an excellent character in Harvey Mapes, and the trail he sends him down in WATCH ME DIE looks at first to be a fascinating one. Unfortunately, the end of that path contained a few too many jarring twists & coincidences for this novel to live up to its early promise.

That said, WATCH ME DIE (which was originally published as THE MAN WITH THE IRON-ON BADGE) is an engaging novel that features as tremendous protagonist and a host of intriguing secondary characters
C. Clark
The humor, the mystery, the pure storytelling was spot on. It's been a long time since I chuckled during a book, and tried to read faster to fathom how the story would end. Wonderful job with a PI that's stupid enough to be funny and smart enough to be efficient. Fun reading. I have found a new author to binge on now.
May 16, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-have
At first you wonder if the whole thing is a spoof of hardboiled detective
stories, but eventually you realize that you are enjoying the tale and
can't put it down. A gate-guard security guy is hired by a wealthy
resident to follow his wife. The investigation by this rank amateur
takes you places you Would never suspect.
Sep 10, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This is what I would consider more of a 'mans' novel, but having said that, I thoroughly enjoyed this book! It was quirky and humorous, and made me laugh out loud several times. If you've got a sense of humor and like contemporary books, give it a try!
Jan 20, 2013 rated it really liked it
Watch Me Die is a mystery novel that draws you in. The story has plenty of twists and turns and the writer's droll and witty voice entertains throughout.
Karen Sweiger-Veil
Aug 30, 2018 rated it really liked it
PI Wannabe

Working as a security guard for a gated community, Harvey Mabes is stuck in a nowhere job until a homeowner gets his PI juices flowing by offering him a job. Harvey is asked to follow the wife to determine where she goes during the day while the husband is at work., since he has noticed a change in behavior. Told in first person narrative, the reader gains insight to Harvey's romantic conception of what makes a PI tick that he has deduced from various murder mysteries and old TV dete
Nancy Silk
Mar 31, 2018 rated it it was amazing
"Excellent, Excellent"

In southern California, 26-year old Harvey Mapes is a security guard for a gated community. On duty at night, he has time to read mystery and crime stories. He's also wondering when his life will change. It does change when a wealthy resident, Cyril Parkus, hires him to follow his wife Lauren. Harvey is ecstatic about his new added job since he has always dreamed of becoming a private detective. But he soon learns the difference between fiction and reality. He's
Jan 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Clever and original and a page turner

What happens when a rather ordinary young man working as a gate guard at an exclusive area of expensive homes is hired by one of the owners to do some low level detective work? Especially when the guard's entire experience about what it means to be a detective is based on TV shows and detective novels? It becomes a highly enjoyable and extremely original story in Lee Goldberg's hands. I loved this book.
Apr 15, 2019 rated it liked it
I started this book thinking it would be a funny enjoyable read, sadly I was rather disappointed. The story didn’t hold together for me. The main character was rather ambitious in his drive to be a private detective. His total experience was watching his heroes on TV. It also got rather boring how he constantly quoted how Spenser or Maverick or some other P I would have coped with the situations he landed in. It did get a bit tedious.
Mar 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Harvey Mapes - A Guy You Can Like...

Rated this so highly because these books by Lee Goldberg are ones that I just can't put down and stop reading . The main character in the book, Harvey Mapes , is sort of a sad sack regular guy turned private eye. the twists and turns he goes through make for a good plot and of course an interesting ending . Love the occasional humor that the author injects into this book . Great book and I recommend it highly .
Marilyn Cochran
Apr 05, 2018 rated it really liked it
PI 101

Harvey Mapes is the Walter Mitty of Private Eyes. He is pulled into his first assignment by boredom and relies on all he's learned about being a detective from his favorite TV shows and books and fails to live up to their standards. But he learns a lot about himself along the way. Very very funny with wonderful plot twists.
Ransom Johnson
Jun 19, 2018 rated it liked it
Well written but odd book

I read this book to the end , and admired the writing, but overall this was a strange and sad story. Not sure I can recommend it, unless depressing is your go to type of book.
John Shearer
Jul 27, 2019 rated it really liked it
Watch Me Die

This was a good read that you don't want to put down. The author has used the characters and their interaction with each other in a good way. They interact with ease and the adventure is better for it.
Gary Coffman
Mar 20, 2018 rated it really liked it
This was a great story . I would recommend it to anyone who is interested in the reasons for people to want to change their lives.

Life is good a all we can do is keep on trying to do the next right thing for everyone concerned.
Kenny Yarbrough
Jul 22, 2018 rated it really liked it
Very entertaining

This is a very good book. Fat paced, witty, and a very likeable main character. A couple of unexpected twist make this an excellent. The only negative is the use of the F-bomb which is a major turn off for me and the only thing that prevents me from recommending this book to my family and friends.
Don Paske
Mar 25, 2017 rated it really liked it
An entertaining read with several twists and surprises along the way. The "hero" is pretty much a loser at the start but learns quite a bit through the short life of the book. Mr. Goldberg has good character development and decent enough dialogue.
Apr 21, 2018 rated it it was ok
2.5 *’s. Good writing, good plot, I liked the humor and the story, but was turned off by the completely unnecessary sex which had nothing to do with the tale, and the equally unneeded and unwelcome language. What a shame. Remove the garbage and the book would earn more stars.
Theresa Bee
Mar 07, 2018 rated it it was ok
It was an okay read to pass some time

The book digress too much describing stuff that was not realvalent to any thing. Some stuff just didn't make any sense. I skipped a lot if pages.
Fritz Kunze
Jul 04, 2018 rated it really liked it
The pothead twist ending which I did not expect

I like this book because the plot while I'm down in a way that I did not expect. the writing was also a bit juvenile
in that the references metaphorical otherwise were a bit too youthful for me.

Nov 28, 2018 rated it really liked it
Pretty good. I want more adventures with this security guard turned private eye.
Aug 13, 2018 rated it it was ok
Too many references to old TV got monotonous
Richard Gebelein
Apr 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I bought this as a time killer, not intending to finish it. But it hooked me, and was so much fun that I could not stop. That is what good writing is supposed to do. I Will read more Goldbergs.
Sharon Broaster
Apr 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing

The title seemed too heavy and chilling thriller. However it is free Lee Goldberg style that has humour to lessen the fear. A page turned that I didn't want to put down.
David Attwood
Nov 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A fast ,laugh-out read.

This book was enjoyable,well written, and a page-turner. It was a good summertime entertainment , good for reading at the beach or around the pool.
donna shorkey
Nov 13, 2017 rated it really liked it
Easy, entertaining read

I like Lee Goldbergs's style of writing . He is believable and entertaining with plenty of humorous asides thrown in for good measure.
Eleanor Alberici
Jun 26, 2018 rated it it was ok

This was an ok book. I felt that the writer was always trying to be funny Would have liked a book without so many attempts to be funny.
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#1 New York Times Bestselling author Lee Goldberg is a two-time Edgar Award and two-time Shamus Award nominee whose many TV writing and/or producing credits include "Martial Law," "SeaQuest," "Diagnosis Murder,""Hunter," "Spenser: For Hire," "Nero Wolfe," "Missing." "Monk" and "The Glades." He's also the co-author of the Fox & O'Hare series with Janet Evanovich (The Heist, The Chase, The Job, ...more
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