• The Dead Path

  • By: Stephen M. Irwin
  • Narrated by: Michael Carman
  • Length: 14 hrs and 13 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Release date: 05-19-10
  • Language: English
  • Publisher: Bolinda Publishing Pty Ltd
  • 3.5 out of 5 stars 3.7 (93 ratings)

Regular price: $24.47

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Editorial Reviews

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.
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Publisher's Summary

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.
©2010 Stephen M. Irwin (P)2010 Bolinda Publishing Pty Ltd
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Critic Reviews

"I can't remember being this creeped out by a book since reading King's The Shining." (HorrorScope)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Sean on 06-22-10

An excellent story!

I really enjoyed this. The narration seemed a little harsh at first, but after a few minutes you adjust to the light accent of the narrator. Also, since the story itself takes place in Australia it adds to the authenticity. I'm not kidding when I say I listened to the whole story in one sitting, it really keeps you on the edge of your seat with plenty of twists and turns. The only negative comment I would have is that section of the story were slightly pornographic. This isn't really a bad thing since it all relates to the story, but of course it means that I wouldn't recommend it for younger listeners. Other than that, this was an outstanding story full of interesting characters and great suspense!

PS: Those read up on the occult will be happy to know there's a decent amount of accuracy when it comes to runes and European pagan mythology. Complete with a positive example of a modern adept to offset the negativity of the antagonist.

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5 of 5 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By Jennifer on 09-23-10

Best Debut of the Year

This is the best audiobook I have listened to in ages. In fact, after I finished it I kept thinking about it and thinking about it, so I went back and listened to it again.

The story is riveting. An Australian in London loses his wife in an accident and then returns to his home town in Australia after he discovers that his own accident has left him with the uncanny ability to see the ghosts of people at their moments of death.

Back in Australia, he discovers that children are being abducted and killed in the dark woods near his house. These relate to the murder of Simon's best friend 20 years before. They also relate to a string of child killings (sacrifices) which have taken place over the past hundred years or so.

The story weaves the current day plot with scenes from Simon's childhood. Simon seeks to find answers and to stop the horrifying occurrences. He enlists his sister, his mother, and the widow of an acquaintance. They are all drawn into the mystery and the witchcraft.

The images in the book are compelling. The woods are haunted and haunting. There is witchcraft and ancient magic. There are ghosts. There are spiders and shape-shifters. There are believers, non-believers and reluctant believers. There are shamans and priests. Several characters die. The end of the book is surprising and satisfyingly disturbing.

The narration of this story is superb. Michael Carman is absolutely brilliant. His English accents and Australian accents are spot on, and he's one of the few male narrators who does a really excellent job with female characters.

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4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
4 out of 5 stars
By Karen on 10-06-13

very good

Any additional comments?

Didnt think I would like listening to an Australian narrating (Not because I dont like Australians I think they are great) but I found Michael carmans voice to be very engaging with good characterisation. I love supernatural tales and this was very good moving along at a good pace One thing I have never read a book in which so many people threw up in the characters were doing it all the time (Prehaps the nora virus was doing the rounds!) I felt it did seem to get over zealous towards the end with the supernatural stuff but overall it was very good with a twist that I never saw coming

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2 of 2 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By J on 07-01-13


Would you listen to The Dead Path again? Why?

I would definitely listen to this again - the story was gripping and unusual, full of unexpected turns.

What other book might you compare The Dead Path to, and why?

This reminded me of Stephen King at his best.

Have you listened to any of Michael Carman’s other performances? How does this one compare?


Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?


Any additional comments?

I had expected a murder mystery with some supernatural twists, but this was so much more - unexpectedly brilliant.

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2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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