Although I don’t read many, I like a good mystery. I like watching a tangled web un-weave. I like watching our protagonist being dragged through the darkest, dankest, dreariest caverns of the human psyche to solve a puzzle. I’m not sure if Dead Inside by John Arcudi is going to match my ideals for a good murder mystery, but it’s off to a strong start on the writing side.
Detective Lin Caruso is, like most protagonist detectives, unhappy. She was happier as a deputy but was asked to take the detective test, passed, and then something occurred that put her on jail crimes division. She has an ex-husband who has found happiness with someone else, and no one will let her just do her job. Running late for work, she’s called in on a murder suicide, but something isn’t right to her; however, every attempt to get further answers is hindered by those with more power. When she does finally make some headway, it isn’t remotely what she thought it would be.
Arcudi gives us a really strong first few pages that artist Toni Fejzula and colorist Andre May nail. Themes are presented against poignant images. The rhythm lulls you into wanting to read more. From there, with this first issue, we’re taken through a lot of the exposition. Thankfully, the exposition is smartly written and enhances the conflict in the script rather than just explaining elements as we go along.
The question is – do I like it? I’m not sure. While it was fairly smartly written, I wasn’t drawn in as a reader. I wasn’t wondering what was going to happen next which, even at this stage, it helps to be involved. The final twist was relatively intriguing, but without something more to embrace within the story itself, I didn’t necessarily care… Hopefully, this question will be answered in forthcoming books.