September 21, 2004
Dead Famous by Ben Elton

Dead Famous by Ben Elton: a murder takes place in front of approximately 47,000 people, but the police have no idea who committed the crime.

House Arrest is an English reality television show like Big Brother that’s in its third year of production. There are ten contestants, thirty cameras, forty microphones, and 24/7 coverage. When the book begins, we are on day twenty-nine and Chief Inspector Coleridge is attempting to figure out who committed murder, witnessed by 47,000 people via a live Internet feed, that took place on day twenty-seven.

Coleridge himself is in his fifties and is quite old-fashioned. He cannot understand what would prompt someone to go live in a house, giving up their privacy in a desperate attempt to become famous or why the world would be interested in these people. Nonetheless, he’s determined to find the killer.

At first, I had the hardest time getting into Dead Famous. I felt like I’d been dropped into the story midway through and it was difficult for me to keep the characters straight. About fifty pages or so in, though, I found the story really catching my attention, especially since the identity of the murder victim themself isn’t revealed for quite some time.

While I wouldn’t say that the ending of the story was completely unexpected, it still took me a while to see it coming and, all in all, once the book got past its slow start, I really enjoyed reading it.