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The Dead Lands (Mockingbird Bay Mystery)

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    Available in PDF - DJVU Format | The Dead Lands (Mockingbird Bay Mystery).pdf | Language: ENGLISH
    Rick Hautala(Author)

    Book details


In a place Abby calls the Dead Lands, she aids individuals trapped by unfinished Earthly business and helps them move on. Abby meets Megan McGowan there, a sixteen-year-old girl who fell to her death on the rocky shores of Mockingbird Bay. Megan can't remember if it was an accident...or something worse. With the help of Jim Burke, a young man who becomes a close friend, Abbey works to discover how Megan became trapped in this empty place. But Abby has other troubles -- her uncle, the Reverend George Wheeler, evil and vengeful, pursues her with his Hell Hounds through the twilight realms of the Dead Lands, waiting for her at every turn. Fortunately a mysterious protector helps her evade her uncle's terrible revenge. Who is this spirit protector? And will Abby ever gain release from this unchained prison?

Rick Hautala has more than thirty published books to his credit, including the million copy, international best-seller Nightstone, His more than eighty published short stories have appeared in national and international anthologies and magazines. His short story collection Bedbugs was selected as one of the best horror books of the year in 2003. A new story collection, Glimpses, was published in March of 2013. Future books include the sci-fi adventure Star Road, with Matt Costello, from Thomas Dunne/St. Martins in 2014. Rick passed away in March of 2013.

3.5 (4176)
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Book details

  • PDF | 232 pages
  • Rick Hautala(Author)
  • JournalStone (February 7, 2014)
  • English
  • 4
  • Children's Books

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Review Text

  • By Sandra K. Stiles on July 5, 2015

    I won a copy from LibraryThing. The opinions expressed here are my own.Take a mystery, add a ghost into it, tack on a murder and you have the makings of an excellent book.Abby is a ghost who lives in a cemetery in the Dead Lands. She’s been dead for over 100 years. She’s not sure why, unlike the many that she helps, she’s been unable to move on. She sleeps until she hears a mockingbird sing, which signals that someone needs her help. This time it is Meagan who has shown up. Abby quickly whisks her into the cemetery. Why? Abby’s uncle George Wheeler, who was once a pastor chases Abby along with his Hell Hounds. He’s determined to get her to come to his side of things. Abby must help Meagan find out who murdered her and help her get justice. She must do this all without being caught by her uncle. Abby has a protector who quickly comes to her aid. She doesn’t know who he is or when he will show up but he does. There is a second story line that flows through this story. Jim Burke purchased a locket that used to belong to Abby. Inside the locket is a strand of hair and a key. He was originally going to buy it for his mother because she like it, but decided to keep it because he feels strangely drawn to it. This connection is what allows him to see Abby, something no other living being has been able to accomplish. We are left at the end of the book with Meagan’s mystery solved, but not Abby’s. This is a great set up for a second book. It can be read as a stand-alone book.When I went in search of this author who was new to me, I was saddened to learn he had died of a heart attack in 2013. I love his book and would have gladly read the entire series. It was so good that it only took me a couple of hours to read it. Now we will never have the answers to the questions we had at the end of the book about Abby and her uncle. I will recommend this to all of my students. It is one of the best I’ve read in a long time.

  • By Suzy Schettler on March 28, 2014

    I received this ebook through Early Reviewers and just finished it last night. It was a mix of murder mystery and ghost story and had a sad and haunting quality that fit the book's theme. I found it to be a quick read and I wanted to keep turning the pages to see what would happen next.The book has an interesting take on a sort of Purgatory called The Dead Lands, in which souls need to accept their death and resolve any issues that are holding them back from their final destination. There are Reapers who take the souls onward to a place of light or shadows and a dead girl named Abby who has existed in the small cemetary since her death in a shipwreck over 100 years before. She lies in a sort of dead-sleep until she hears a mockingbird singing and then finds herself awake as a ghost. For reasons she doesn't understand, Abby has not moved on and instead she tries to help those who are newly dead and confused. The story begins when she hears a mockingbird and discovers Megan, a girl newly dead, who is similar in age to herself.Abby realizes that Megan can't move on until she accepts that she was murdered and together they work to discover the identity of her killer and a way to find justice for her death. Along the way Abby must avoid her uncle, who was also killed in the same shipwreck, and who has become an evil and threatening entity who hunts her every night with his Hell Hounds but is unable to enter the little cemetary in which Abby is buried. Abby is also drawn to a boy who purchases a locket that used to belong to her and holds a mysterious key and a lock of her hair.I found the book to be quite sad, both for Megan who has to deal with being killed at such a young age, and also for Abby who is unable to move on and doesn't know why. The description of the Reapers and of her uncle are creepy and mysterious. Clearly this was intended to become the first book in a series, but the author has since passed away, so unfortunately a lot of questions that are raised in this book about Abby will never be answered. Her memories of the past are interesting, although quite sad as well. I would've liked to have read more about her and what the locket and key meant to her and why it was keeping her trapped.

  • By Frank Errington on February 6, 2014

    Review CopyIn 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 Amazon.com.A totally enjoyable read and highly recommended for all ages.


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