Disappear Our Dead by Gin Mackey is a murder mystery tale that asks existential questions and presents themes of loss and perseverance. The main character, Abby, loses her husband and rather than let her grief consume her, begins a business as a home funeral guide, helping others who have lost loved ones arrange their final farewells. When a murder happens and Abby becomes a suspect, she must pull herself up by her bootstraps and solve the mystery and clear her name. While Disappear Our Dead is a murder mystery at heart, it’s also a book about bereavement and acceptance of the inevitable.
It’s easy to empathize with the character of Abby, and the resilient attitude she develops will have the reader rooting for her early on in the proceedings. The secondary and tertiary characters are fleshed out and interesting, particularly Brad, and like any good mystery novel the reader will develop suspicions early on. There is a large cast, and this is a complex tale, so this book is best-suited for an attentive reader. Mackey creates a puzzle that isn’t easily solved and accompanies it with heavy themes. Without giving too much away, the book delivers a surprising and satisfying ending while leaving the door open for further adventures for the characters.
Disappear Our Dead is well-written and well-edited, and the story moves along at a brisk pace. Mackey does a great job of keeping you engaged and dialogue between the characters is smart and at-times comical. This is a book with romance and intrigue and deep questions about the nature of mortality. It is a story about moving on from loss and developing a healthy relationship with one’s own past. Abby’s growth as a character will particularly inspire those who have similarly suffered, but I think there is something for every mystery fan to be found in her story. Disappear Our Dead is easily a 5-star read.