Monday 7 November 2016



Ridley has finally met the girl of his dreams, only now she has disappeared. The way it's going, love might kill him. No, it will definitely kill him. Seven times. 

Book 1 of 7. The Year I Died Seven Times is a full-length crime novel in seven parts, each released throughout the year in the month the action takes place. Read along with this exciting mystery as the thrills escalate, the mystery deepens, and the deaths keep coming. Next installment: March. 

God Bless Eric Beetner for releasing this one as seven separate books. I get to pad the reading stats and hopefully hit the year end target of 120!

This was my second taste of Eric Beetner with his co-authored novel with J.B. Kohl  - Over Their Heads enjoyed earlier this year. (Note to self - still not posted anything on that one.)

Ridley doesn't have to work - a couch surfer for six years after a construction accident left him with a big settlement and a repeat prescription for Vicodin and medical marijuana. Early on we have a pithy observation on modern life. Ridley's eating cold Chinese leftovers for breakfast....

If you're eating cold Chinese food for breakfast, as I often did, it implies several things. One - the night before you were too lazy or unmotivated to make food for yourself. Two - it implies the morning after you were equally lazy and unmotivated. Three - it also says you were too indifferent to even warm up leftover chicken with snow peas. You just don't care anymore. 

Things are changing though, Ridley has met Japanese girl Miho. Two weeks in and he's fallen heavily. He's off the meds and the weed. he's doing laundry, he's looking for a job.

She pushed me to be a better person, all without asking. I wanted to be the better version of me when I was with her. I wanted to feel worthy.

And now she's tearfully dumped him. No real explanation - she's leaving the States and he's devastated; but our new improved Ridley isn't giving up without a fight.

A trip to Miho's flat and a conversation with unhelpful flatmate. Next a trip to Miho's place of work - a night club catering to Japanese businessmen and Ridley's just embarked on the slippery slope to dying for the first time.  

Security, bouncers, access inside, a sit-down with the owners, intimidation tactics, and a brush-off. A witness to some crowd control Japanese style - a small hammer and two front teeth knocked out of a drunken businessman's head. 

Another conversation with the reluctant flatmate and Ridley has a lead. Miho's being shipped out of the country. Time to hit the port of LA. A bit of watching and waiting, pays dividends, Miho is spotted on a neighbouring dock, but a moment of carelessness gives him away. Ridley's caught and having drawn attention to himself earlier, his checked background as the son of a top FBI man has only served to put a target on his head. Our Yakuza types are up to no good.

Ridley's in the trunk of a car and heading to a watery grave.

Interesting set-up and story. Not sure how the first"death"of Ridley is explained, I suppose I had better read book 2 then.

4 from 5

Eric Beetner has more than a few books on my TBR pile - Westerns, Crime fiction, novels set around the world of boxing. Plenty to enjoy.

His website is here. Catch him on Twitter - @ericbeetner

Read in October, 2016
Bought on Amazon a year or two ago.  


  1. That is an interesting way to release a novel, Col. And it sounds like the ground is being laid for a solid story, too. I have to say I like that description of what it implies when you eat cold Chinese food for breakfast...

    1. I think the seven episodes have now been collated in one edition now, but it works for me as seven! I do like the observational narrative. PDB is excellent at it. I must confess I am partial to cold pizza and leftover Chinese food the next day - what does that say about me?

  2. I wasn't sure you could even still get them individually. Happy reading! Hope you like the torture I put Ridley through. Thanks for posting about it.

    1. Eric, thanks for stopping by. I don't think you can get them individually any more, but that's how I acquired them. Looking forward to spending more time in Ripley's company!

  3. I am shocked at the idea that there is anything wrong with eating leftover takeaway for breakfast! Se don't have takeaway that often, but when we do, that's b'fast sorted...

    1. I've come downstairs to some leftover cheesy-chips after a might out for my son and daughter, and they are looking a bit grim even for me.