PJV Quickie: There is one thing you can not deny about Rhiannon Frater’s novels – they are very unique. As a fan of the author I was excited to read DEAD SPOTS and the story did not disappoint. It was original, emotional and full of high anxiety and freaky scenes that kept me on my toes.
Review: The story opens with an idyllic family life, new couple, new baby on the way…everyone is happy, sparkly and in love. It takes a few pages for that to come crashing down. It wouldn’t be a Frater novel if everyone wasn’t all emotionally fracked up. In the first chapter the main character Mackenzie is in mourning over the death of her child and her subsequent divorce. On the drive to her mother’s house, where she was returning to lick her emotional wounds, she almost hits a deer and she irrationally decides to explore a run down diner which lands her in a dead spot. A dead spot is a place in time/space that exists between the worlds of the living and the dead. In these dead spots nightmares come to life, reality isn’t quite real and everyday is a fight for your life. And even if you are to die, you can’t actually die – you just come back to life a little less “alive” and closer to the ultimate nightmare, becoming a wraith in the world of nightmares.
Sounds rather scary right? It isn’t on the scale of King kind of scary, but it was full of overly creepy birds and clowns and anything else you can think of that is shiver worthy. So, if you are looking for an emotionally driven scare-fest, give DEAD SPOTS a read, you won’t be disappointed. I did have a few issues with the main character, I’m not kidding when I say this novel was emotionally focused. The dead spots used the characters trauma against her, so there was a lot of focus on her internal nightmares which were all based on the death of her child and the break-up of her marriage. This led to some erratic behavior by the character, which was very believable but was hard to read at times. I’m scared to know how Frater understands mourning and depression so well, because she paints the picture in her story over-the-top well. But, the focus on the emotions makes for a very sluggish read for people like me. I like happy emotions.
Recommendations: For fans of Frater, well you guys will already be reading this one like a month ago, so I don’t have to tell you to read it. But, if you do like horror, that has a lot of character focus – this is the book for you.
I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Dead Spots by Rhiannon FraterPublished by Tom Doherty Associates on February 10th 2015
Genres: Fiction, Horror
Also by this author: The First Days, Fighting to Survive, Siege
In the dead spots, dreams become reality, terror knows your name, and nightmares can kill you.
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 beseiged 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.