The stillbirth of Mackenzie’s son destroyed her marriage. Grieving, Mac reluctantly heads for her childhood home to seek refuge with her mother, who constantly reminds her of life’s dangers.
Driving across Texas, Mac swerves to avoid hitting a deer…and winds up in a dead spot, a frightening place that lies between the worlds of the living and the dead. If they can control their imaginations, people can literally bring their dreams to life—but most are besieged by fears and nightmares which pursue them relentlessly.
Mackenzie’s mother and husband haunt her, driving her to the brink of madness. Then she hears a child call for help and her maternal instincts kick into overdrive. Grant, Mac’s ally in the dead spots, insists Johnny is a phantom, but the boy seems so real, so alive….
As the true horrors of the dead spots are slowly revealed, Mackenzie realizes that time is running out. But exits from the dead spots are nearly impossible to find, and defended by things almost beyond imagination.
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by Rhiannon Frater
Dead Spots was my first time reading a Rhiannon Frater book and I have to say, I was quite impressed. I cracked it open and was hooked from the prologue. That doesn’t happen for me very often. Most books require at least a few chapters to grab me.
Right out of the gate, this book starts out with a heartbreaking series of events. As it states in the blurb, our main girl Mackenzie ends up giving birth to a stillborn child. The fallout of her son’s death consists of her marriage coming to an abrupt end and her being forced to move back to her home state of Texas. On the road, she encounters what is known as a dead spot – a place between. Between the living and the dead.
The atmosphere Frater builds is positively creeptastic. She wastes no time dragging you from the dreary world where Mackenzie has to say goodbye to the life she could have had to the dead spot where that life haunts her at her every turn. She even thoroughly grossed me out at one point. It was pretty awesome.
The premise behind Dead Spots is what attracted me to the title. I am a big fan of horror and the idea of being trapped in a place like that is a little terrifying. A place where if you can imagine it in your fears, it can come to life and kill you. It’s an intriguing plot design and the tone of the book kind of reminded me of John Carpenter’s In The Mouth of Madness.
Overall, Dead Spots is an incredibly well-written book and I am so glad I gave it a try. Now I have to go through the authors catalog and pick up some other reads of her. I loved the style and pacing of this story and I am hoping to find it’s a common thread in her writing. If you’re a fan of Stephen King (think circa Gerald’s Game or Dolan’s Cadillac) or even the more tame pieces in Dean Koontz’s catalog, I think you’d like Dead Spots. It creepy but still touches your heart, which is a hard balancing act to pull off. Brava, Ms, Frater!
The review copy of this book was supplied by the publisher Tor Books in exchange for a fair and honest review.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Rhiannon Frater was born and raised a Texan. Though she has lived in various towns all over the state, she finally settled in Austin, Texas where she met her husband and worked as a governmental consultant.
During her travels for her job, she was inspired to write the story of two women fleeing into the Texas Hill Country in an attempt to survive the zombie apocalypse. Originally published as a serial online under the title AS THE WORLD DIES, she later self-published the series in three novels to satisfy the many fans of the story. The first novel in the series, THE FIRST DAYS, won the 2008 Dead Letter Award for Best Book (Fiction). The second book, FIGHTING TO SURVIVE won the 2009 Dead Letter Award in the same category.
The AS THE WORLD DIES books were purchased by Tor in 2010.The first book, THE FIRST DAYS, was released in July 2011 and received a starred review from Publishers Weekly. The second, FIGHTING TO SURVIVE, was released on November 8, 2011. The third book, SIEGE, will be released in April 2012.
She is also the author of THE LIVING DEAD BOY AND THE ZOMBIE HUNTERS, PRETTY WHEN SHE DIES: A Vampire Novel and two novels in the Vampire Bride Series (THE TALE OF THE VAMPIRE BRIDE and THE VENGEANCE OF THE VAMPIRE BRIDE). All her works have been optioned for either TV or film.
Rhiannon continues to live in Austin, Texas with her husband and is now a full-time writer.
She is represented by Hannah Gordon of the Foundry Literary + Media agency.