Book Review: Mr Alhourani’s Dead Man’s Spots by DM Lee

What’s it about?

Mr Alhourani’s Dead Man’s Spots is a story about unexpected friendships, love, loneliness and loyalty and how one man’s desire to improve the lives of those around him, through simple acts of generosity, can really make a difference. 

Annie Grimes moves to London in search of a more fulfilling life. However, work quickly takes over as she is faced with a demanding boss, Geraldine Hall, who runs the Golden Dawn Care Home based on timetables and targets rather than feelings. As Annie watches the life savings of the elderly shrink, she begins to question the quality and type of care provided to those who are preparing to meet their maker.

Her landlord, Mr Alhourani, a man with a strong social conscience, and an uncanny knack for saying things that most people wouldn’t dream of putting into words, tries his best to keep her spirits high and health in good check. He also possesses a deep love of London and does his best to open Annie’s eyes to the brilliance of the city that has become her new home.

When the offer of a highly lucrative job comes Annie’s way, she begins to wonder whether money is more important than loyalty and her desire to help others. 

What happens if the carers become careless?

Is fighting someone else’s battle more important than protecting yourself? 

When it comes to love, how can she get someone to shut their mouth and open their eyes to what is staring them in the face?

These are all questions Annie has to answer in Mr Alhourani’s Dead Man’s Spots.

My review:

I was contacted by the author of Mr Alhourani’s Dead Man’s Spots and was asked to read and review. As this was the first time I’d been asked to do this I was quite flattered. I didn’t know what to expect as I’ve read a couple of self-published books before (and met the authors) and although the plots have been quite strong there’s been issues that have let them down.

This story is one of love and deep friendships, formed probably where you’d least expect them and doing something for someone else without the expectation of something in return. When Annie movies to London Mr Alhourani is her first real friend and he’s such a sweetie. I’m sure we’d all like one of him in our corner shop. At the start I did think that his accent was a bit stereotypical of an Indian immigrant but you get used to it and appreciate he couldn’t ‘talk’ in an English accent.

The mystery and significance of the Dead Man’s Spots is soon revealed, these are the blue plaques in London that Mr Alhourani liked to visit to familiarise himself with the city and for him to settle in and learn that London is a city of many nationalities. He does make a lot of sense about the ‘Granny Farms’ however, doesn’t seem to quite grasp the culture difference.

Annie is a nice girl, she’s caring and wants to do the right thing and you do hope that she’ll be ok in the big city. Dave and the baskets!! Being a little cynical I believed that Annie was delivering drugs in these baskets, it all seemed too good to be true, won’t spoil the plot here but there is twist and is all very amusing.

Dan was desperate to be a big city hot shot but who never seemed to quite hit the mark! Geraldine was a nasty piece of work, how she ever got her job but definitely got her comeuppance! Donald and Vera’s relationship was lovely and probably quite typical of an elderly old fashioned English couple suffering with dementia. Sad but inspiring.

There was a regular misuse of ‘of’ and ‘off’ and I found the use of ‘ya’ irritating when it was meant to be yes, or yeah – sounded too posh which the characters weren’t. And, I didn’t like ‘bring me to lunch’ ‘bring them shopping’, but that’s just me.

Unfortunately there were some very minor typo’s and grammatical errors. I feel that if you’re putting something out there for others to read it should be perfect as these can be avoided. It may be that you can’t see the wood for the trees so to speak when you’re so close to it yourself.

Anyway, let’s end on a positive, overall this is a nice uplifting story and is very easy to read. I got through it quite quickly as it flows well and I was keen to find out what happens, especially with Alan Titchmarsh and the baskets. I do wonder though, why Dave was so keen to get the baskets back??!!

Read if you like modern stories set in London that are heartwarming with happy endings 🙂

This debut novel by DM Lee is available as a Kindle version  Mr Alhourani’s Dead Man’s Spots

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