top of page

Book review: Dead Winner by Kevin Chapman

Dead Winner, by Kevin G. Chapman is good solid crime fiction with plenty of twists, hidden motives, confused villains and less than honest protagonists.


Dead Winner is a treasure-hunt mystery/thriller with a love story. Or is it? It’s the story of a lonely, cautious lawyer, Rory, who has the chance to step out of his riskless life, become the hero he pretends to be in video adventure games, and win the heart of Monica, the only woman he ever loved.
When Monica and her husband, Tom, discover they have a $60 million winning lottery ticket, old friend Rory is roped in to help them set up a trust to manage the money. So far so good – except that the next week, Tom is found dead with a gunshot to his head, apparently a suicide.
Why would such a lucky man take his own life? And if it’s murder, why would his lovely wife become a suspect? And more than that…. Where is the winning lottery ticket?

My thoughts

Dead Winner by Kevin G. Chapman comes packaged with romance, trickery, and a multitude of crimes. It all starts with a surprise visit to a lawyer. Rory hasn’t seen his old college friends, Tom and Monica, in years. They’ve won the lottery and want Rory to set up a secret trust. Alarm bells sound for the savvy reader, but not it seems for kind-hearted Rory. When a few days later, Tom is fatally shot, Rory’s life snowballs!

The mystery deepens. Police investigators favour suicide over murder and are ready to close the case when a clean-up crew from Tom’s company arrives to cover up the potential of any sensitive documents seeing the light of day. As the waters continue to muddy, Monica and Rory get romantic. Tom’s personal assistant, Breonna, joins the story and the detectives get suspicious. Something’s going on. Tom’s suicide has opened a can of worms.

I enjoyed reading this one. The characters are typical of crime fiction, but with an added layer of deception (and, in Rory’s case, gullibility). These layers of truth and lies give the story a fresh feel and a sense of fun. Each step of the way, people are duped, set up, used, and occasionally rewarded. The master players control the crime and pace of the action as well.

man in blue shirt with blue and white tie and wearing glasses, holding up a book
Author Kevin Chapman

Kevin Chapman is an attorney specializing in labor and employment law. His passion (aside from playing tournament poker and rooting for his beloved New York Mets) is writing fiction. He recently completed the first five books in his Mike Stoneman Thriller series.
Kevin writes: “The process of writing crime thrillers involves hours of thinking about and talking about how to kill people. And how to get away with it. It also involves figuring out how my protagonist detectives might solve the case. But mostly it’s about planning out ingenious ways to murder people. My wife is a willing participant in this process (so she must trust me). My current book is more of a mystery, and a little bit of a tragic romance. But all the stories are about the characters. If you don’t care about them, then I’m not doing my job.”

Dead Winner book cover. Man in blue shirt lying on floor in a pool of blood, money raining down from above

  • Genre: Crime Thriller (Romantic)

  • Print length: 312 pages (80K words)

  • Age range: This is an adult book, but would be suitable for some mature teens (16+)

  • Trigger warnings: consensual sexual scenes, non-graphic


Search By Tags
Follow Us
  • Facebook Basic Square
  • Twitter Basic Square
  • Google+ Basic Square
bottom of page