Adam Mansbach, the acclaimed #1 New York Times best-selling author of Go the F**k to Sleep and Rage Is Back, turns to a new tale of suspense, horror, and supernatural action
Wrongfully imprisoned in a Mexican jail, outlaw-with-a-conscience Jess Galvan accepts a devil's bargain: transport a sinister package across the border in twenty-four hours for the jail's mythical - and terrifying - bogeyman El Cucuy. If Jess can make it across alive and give the iron box to cult leader Aaron Seth, he will be free and able to regain custody of his estranged daughter.
But as Jess navigates a blighted desert full of deadly surprises, girls go missing on both sides of the border and bodies begin to surface. It's a deadly epidemic of crime that plunges small-town sheriff Bob Nichols into a monster of an investigation he's not equipped to handle, especially when sixteen-year-old Sherry disappears.
An ancient evil has awoken in the empty wastelands along the border and now everyone - the innocent and the guilty alike - must face their deepest fears as epic myth and human malice combine to bring forth the end of the world as we know it.
With The Dead Run, acclaimed author Adam Mansbach mixes horror, the supernatural, and suspense to deliver a chilling, high-octane adventure.
©2013 Adam Mansbach (P)2013 HarperCollinsPublishers
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"A waste of time!"
There is no serious story here. There is lots of gratuitous beheadings and other killings. Summary: no real story but lots of violence.
"Gruesome fun - and a LEETLE sexist"
I enjoyed almost all of this book, and I hadn't realized Mansbach was the genius behind "Go the F*** to Sleep" until I looked him up when I was halfway through. I love a gory little horror story, and this one pulls no punches at all. What I had taken to be a straight-up crime novel turned delightfully supernatural, and there was plenty of grim humor, likable characters and spunky dialogue. I'm glad to know that this is the first of a new series, and as soon as my credits renew I'll be sure to snag the next entry.
Now the bad news. I'm a 55 year old white woman (no, that's NOT the bad news), and I'm the first to admit that I never know when I supposed to be offended any more. But this witty horror novel referred relentlessly to something which niggles at me still.
Without spoiling anything, I can say that the story centers on a supposed Aztec legend featuring the blood of virgins. Many, many virgins get a very rough deal in this story - past and present. Excuse me, not JUST virgins. These have to be, and are presumed by the author, FEMALE virgins. Because, well, hymens, I guess.
The story consistently and without pause considers the Virtuous, Unsullied Female to be priced above rubies, and frequently suggests that a woman who's had sex is completely worthless to the Other Side. Another character in the novel is very decidedly NOT a virgin, but because he's a Man, he is also pronounced Virtuous, as long as he only kills in self-defense. It's painfully skewed.
It's also suggested several times that the worst thing that a MAN can experience is knowing that his daughter has been raped. Because then - apparently - she's no good to anyone anymore.
Okay, I'm still not sure how I feel about this. Honestly, I enjoyed the book very much, and I don't look to horror fiction for my moral or politically-correct compass. But I can't leave the point unmade, either.
An army of undead virgins, an ancient priest and his son who bathe in virgin's blood and a heart that beats outside the body, all occurring in the modern day. I was not anticipating this storyline and this is not my cup of tea. The narration was good and there is a second book in the series which I will skip.
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