A Matter of Life and Death

When advertising maverick Farren Mortimer sets up AMOLAD to bring the funeral business into the 21st century his ideas capture the public’s attention as he cashes in on the new zeitgeist of conspicuous public mourning.

Appointed as the government’s ‘bereavement czar’ it looks as if Mortimer can’t put a foot wrong as he single-handedly puts the ‘fun’ into funerals. 

But commercialising death isn’t without its problems; not everybody gives ‘Mr Eulogy’ and his slick marketing techniques their blessing.

But who wants to bury Mortimer the most?  Is it the anarchist graffiti street artist who has made AMOLAD a particular target for his ire?  The self-seeking road safety campaigner with designs on Mortimer as well as his money? The award-seeking journalist who smells a BAFTA? Or someone much closer to home?

As the government’s inaugural ‘People’s Remembrance Day’ bank holiday date approaches, will it be redemption or requiem for Mortimer?

Published: 2012

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Simon Mayo – Book Club Review of the Year 2012, BBC Radio

“My favourite book of the year is A Matter of Life and Death by Paul Carroll.  Very clever satire from a debutant author, well worth the read” (Contributor)

Manchester Evening News

“The novel, a satire about death and bereavement in the reality TV age, includes a rather raunchy scene set among the gravestones at Southern Cemetery”


“Carroll’s written a picaresque novel satirising advertising and the cult of vicarious tears. It’s a right laugh but gets in a few cunning jabs as well”


“Satirical and shrewd in its societal observations, A Matter of Life and Death owes a debt to Evelyn Waugh’s The Loved One. This is a cautionary tale of what happens when hype becomes hysteria”

The Drum

“…A good ride through the worlds of commerce, celebrity, politics and PR all mixed together with a hefty dose of black humour”

Female First

“While A Matter of Life and Death deals cynically with some fairly large targets such as the media, politics, and the fame-hungry, it’s nevertheless warm-hearted at its core”