Murder by Other Means (The Dispatcher #2) by John Scalzi - Book Review

Write on: Mon, 19 Oct 2020 by  in Drew's Reviews Read 3889

With his regular work drying up and money getting tight, dispatcher Tony Valdez finds the jobs he gets offered are straying more and more into legal gray areas. But when an old colleague organizes a bank robbery and things point to Tony’s involvement, he has to convince people on both sides of the law of his innocence. 

Set a couple of years after the events of The Dispatcher, the world has continued to adapt to the inexplicable phenomenon where murder victims vanish from the scene of their deaths; only to reappear in their homes, alive and unharmed. The latest way people are turning this to their advantage is to use it as a means of instantaneous transportation, like the businessman who hires Tony to kill him so that he can return to China and beat a competitor to a deal. Or the aforementioned bank robbers who get themselves killed by the police to avoid being arrested. 

Actually, that is my only gripe with this story. Since a lot of the focus is on ways that people can either manipulate or get around the new reality, it seems a little short-sighted that the police would still shoot to kill in such situations. Still, once the events are set in motion, the rest of the story proceeds in a logical manner. 

The characters of Valdez and Detective Langdon haven’t changed that since the previous novella, their banter and interplay are as amusing as ever. Although they spend less time together than in The Dispatcher, their scenes are among the most fun in the book.  

Much like the first installment, Murder By Other Means is a quick and entertaining listen. I say listen since it is currently only available on Audible, with excellent narration for Zachary Quinto. And, if you already have an Audible subscription, both stories are available as part of the Audible Plus library. So there’s no reason not to give them a try. 


4 out of 5 robberies gone bad. 

Last modified on Sunday, 24 January 2021 03:44

Drew ascribes his love of stories to an aunt giving him a hard back edition of Dracula & Frankenstein for his 8th birthday. Since then he’s been an avid reader of books, short stories, and comics. He is a regular blogger at “The Scribblings” and is working on his own writing.