The Dead Path tells the gripping story of a broken man, Nicholas Close. A terrible accident has left him a widower and awoken in him the ability to see the dead. Now, he can’t escape visions of tortured spirits, their last moments caught in horrible, endlessly replaying loops.
Nicholas leaves London and returns to Australia, where he is disturbed to see that a heavily treed tract of land in his childhood suburb has somehow escaped development. These woods have haunted Nicholas since he was a boy, and now he knows why: he sees the ghosts of terrified children being dragged from the path into the grinning maw of dark trees.
When another local child goes missing, Nicholas himself becomes a suspect, yet he alone knows the girl has been taken into the woods. If he does not act against whatever resides among the shadowy trees, more innocents will be murdered. But the force he resolves to confront is old, cunning, and evil...and wants Nicholas for itself.
A fantastically dark and gripping tale expertly delivered in performer Michael Carman's sandpaper-and-silk voice. Australian Nicholas Close is living in London when an accident kills his new wife and leaves him with the ability to see the dead. Returning to Australia, he discovers that a 100-year-old string of child sacrifices have been taking place in the dark woods near his house. Close must get to the bottom of the horror, or risk being swallowed up himself. Stephen M. Irwin takes what might be a cheesy plot in the hands of a lesser writer and crafts an icily beautiful thriller instead. Highly recommended for fans of horror and suspense.
"I can't remember being this creeped out by a book since reading King's The Shining." (HorrorScope)
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An excellent story!
Best Debut of the Year