Heads You Lose by Lisa Lutz & David Hayward

Synopsis: Meet Paul and Lacey Hansen: orphaned, pot-growing twentysomething siblings eking out a living in rural Northern California. When a headless corpse appears on their property, they can’t exactly dial 911, so they move the body and wait for the police to find it. Instead, the corpse reappears, a few days riper . . . and an amateur sleuth is born. Make that two.

When collaborators Lutz and Hayward (former romantic partners) start to disagree about how the story should unfold, the body count rises, victims and suspects alike develop surprising characteristics (meet Brandy Chester, the stripper with the Mensa IQ), and sibling rivalry reaches homicidal intensity. Think Adaptation crossed with Weeds. Will the authors solve the mystery without killing each other first?

Review: I love the Lisa Lutz series, so when I found this novel I wanted to try it too. It must be said that this was something very intriguing. This book is written by two different authors and each writes a chapter without touching anything in the chapter the other did and not knowing what the other would write in advance. So at the beginning of the book we have an exchange between the two writers who agree on how they will write this book. Because it must be said that they had tried to write one together before and it had all turned to disaster!

Lacey and Paul are two siblings who live together and who possess marijuana plants in their basement, selling them to who can afford it. But Lacey wants more, she wants to leave, leave this life behind and to travel as she has always wanted to. And when one day a headless corpse is found on their field, our two heroes only see one solution, to move away it from home for the police to find him. But nothing goes as planned, and the body reappears a few days later. Finally determined to understand the events, they call the police so they investigate the strange murder.

I loved the Lacey’s character, she has a real desire to change her life and decides against all odds to find out who that body in her garden is and to find the murderer. It’s something that is ultimately still more complicated than expected, especially when everyone hides many secrets. I admit that I was looking forward to see who the culprit would be, and I really did not expect that. The revelations appear in the latest chapter in surprise.

Each chapter ends up with the correspondence of the authors about their chapter and the others. We can thus read arguments, opinions, advices, and discussions. Also included there, some annotations of each in their writings. It was very funny to see what they thought, and how they were trying to destabilize the other. It must be said that they have no idea at all about the future of each character and each of their decisions changes, complicating the events. Problem? The history between the two authors is ultimately more interesting than the book itself, and this eclipses what they are trying to do. Both we also have a completely different writing style, although it feels that they adapt to each other. But when the Lisa’s writing is simple and light, David is more dense and complex, which is always a bit difficult when changing over a chapter. It was interesting to follow the history of our two writers but it’s true that I was expecting something different, even if the story is fun to read I had a little trouble with this new novel. But I think if you are looking for something a little crazy and fun, this is perfect.


12 thoughts on “Heads You Lose by Lisa Lutz & David Hayward

  1. I am curious about this one. I like the sound of the dialogue between the authors, but I am disappointed that it outshines the story. Still it sounds like an interesting book to check out.

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