Published by Harper Voyager on September 24, 2013
Genres: Fantasy, Horror
Pages: 304 pages
Sexual Content: N/A
Reviewed by: Kristina
Filled with creepy chills and crackling suspense, an unnerving supernatural thriller, set in the netherworld of the US/Mexican borderland, from the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Go the F**ck to Sleep and the acclaimed Rage Is Back
On both sides of the Mexican-American border, girls are going missing and bodies are beginning to surface, a deadly epidemic of crime that plunges a small-town police chief into a monster of an investigation he's unequipped to handle.
Sherry Nichols is one of those disappeared girls. Miraculously, she's managed to escape. As the young woman soon discovers, freeing herself was the easy part. Lost and alone, she's got to make it through the desert. Alive.
In a Mexican jail, an unjustly-imprisoned man named Galvan is offered a devil's bargain. Freedom and the beloved daughter from whom he is estranged if he successfully carries a sinister package across the border in twenty-four hours.
But there are more than coyotes (human and animal) roaming the desert in seach of prey. An ancient evil has returned, and now everyone must face their deepest terrors.
With The Dead Run Adam Mansbach delivers an eerie high-concept thriller, mixing horror, the supernatural, and suspense in a chilling, high-octane read.
THE DEAD RUN was an exhilarating thriller with a blend of horror and supernatural qualities, though I was left wondering whether I was reading a straight up horror novel as much of the super intricate and magical plot line doesn't seem to start until a few chapters in. Aside from expecting more paranormal qualities earlier in the story THE DEAD RUN was a pretty enjoyable read and the plot was set to eleven in terms of speed which is how thrillers should be. I am typically not a fan of gore which tends to be synonymous with horror so I was pleased that while THE DEAD RUN does have a fair amount of gore it wasn’t excessive enough for me to stop reading it.
Another aspect of THE DEAD RUN I enjoyed was the very bloody fight sequences that showed no one is safe from death or horrible injury. So much goes on in these battles with supernatural creatures that I had to re-read parts to figure out what happened to who and where exactly. Also, Most of the supernatural creatures and human characters exist in a grey zone of morality to the point that I could almost understand why a character would randomly decide to do something absolutely crazy in a dire situation.
While I enjoyed the horror story and creepy mythology involving the main bad guy, one of the big issues I had with this THE DEAD RUN is the lack of character development. I could tell that these characters were generally not all good or all bad but they came off more as generalizations of characters. I didn’t know or like anyone enough to really care about them, even Galvan. He’s very flawed which I only figured out from the vague mentions of his troubled past in the first chapter. This isn't necessarily a bad thing for a character except that is all we are given about him which isn’t enough for me to really care about what happens to him.
Basically, I enjoyed the overall story but was left wanting more character development and less time with plot development. THE DEAD RUN was tough to get through but it is a decent read for those wanting a thriller with a large helping of the supernatural thrown in for good measure.Series Titles:
- The Dirty Streets of Heaven by Tad Williams