Thursday, February 6, 2014

The Dead Lands - A Mockingbird Bay Mystery - by Rick Hautala

5 of 5 Stars.   Review Copy

In March of 2012, Rick Hautala and Joe R. Lansdale were honored with Lifetime Achievement awards at the Bram Stoker banquet in Salt Lake City, an event I watched on Upstream.  It was cool seeing Rick pick up his award, truly excited to be so honored and looking forward to continue doing what he loved to do.  A year later, he died of a heart attack.  That sucked. Fortunately for his legions of fans, Rick had been very productive that last year.  And here we are, nearly a year later with a new Rick Hautala novel from the folks at JournalStone Publishing.

The Dead Lands- A Mocking Bird Bay Mystery is actually two tales woven into one delightful story.  There's Abigail Cummings, dead these last hundred years, but not moved on.  Instead she awakens from her slumber at the sound of the song of the mockingbird to help recently departed spirits come to terms with their own death.  Why hasn't Abby moved on?  Why is she constantly chased by her dead Uncle Wheeler and the hounds of Hell?  In Abby's words, "When I was young, my friends and I used to frighten ouselves by telling ghost stories, now...I guess I am one."

The other story is about, ten year old, Megan McGowen who dies tragically.  Was it an accident or was she murdered?  Abby is there to help Megan learn the truth.

There are some great relationships here, particularly the one between Abby and Megan, as well as the dynamics in Megan's family.

The only downside to The Dead Lands - A Mockingbird Bay Mystery is in what might have been.  It's quite evident that Abby was meant to return in future stories the next time she would hear the mockingbird sing, but sadly the mockingbird will sing no more.

The Dead Lands - A Mockingbird Bay Mystery is available now in Hardcover, Paperback and ebook fomats from JournalStone and from

A totally enjoyable read and highly recommended for all ages.

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