When our lives become too complicated, overrun with confrontations, debts and emotional turmoil, the desire to escape can be overwhelming. In Peter May’s entertaining Virtually Dead, a virtual world becomes preferable to reality for crime scene photographer Michael Kapinsky.Michael’s life is in chaos. The death of his wealthy wife has left him grief-stricken, depressed and in debt. While his wife, Mora, had inherited millions, her lavish lifestyle and a legal battle with the family of her first husband has left Michael an inheritance of overdue bills and a staggering mortgage. He begins to find solace in the virtual world called Second Life, which his therapist suggests as a kind of group therapy.There, his avatar is moviestar handsome Chas Chesnokov, a fearless agent of the Twist of Fate Detective Agency. But the virtual and real worlds collide when both the the avatars and their real life counterparts start being murdered. Chas and an exotic dancer avatar begin an investigation that centers on greed and control.
May (The Enzo Files) keeps a firm hand as Virtually Dead alternates between Michael’s real-life struggles and his avatar’s fantasy life. The plot moves briskly with surprise twists and a believable conclusion. May not only makes Michael a sympathetic, likable character, but also imbues Chas with a solid personality and a fearlessness that makes him a true hero. Online you can be whoever or whatever you want to be as May believably shows.