Customer Reviews: Carnival of Death (Dead Man Book 9)
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on March 29, 2012
Great chapter in the Dead Man Series.

If you have been reading this series, you won't be disappointed with #9. In this chapter we find Matt Cahill working for the carnival. It is a great setting for the Dead Man as there are plenty of fun weird characters that work. The rubes also make for entertaining characters. Carnival of Death is well written and one of my favorites so far in the series.

Eagerly awaiting the next chapter.
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VINE VOICEon March 31, 2012
Bill Crider's latest entry in the DEAD MAN series keeps Matt Cahill on his path, however reluctantly, of stopping Mr. Dark's plans whatever they may be. I had to laugh at the name owner of the carnival and the reference to Indiana Jones. Probably missed other inside jokes.

Loved this one.

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on March 30, 2012
I am enjoying these books more all the time. Bill Crider's entry into the series gives us a new friend for Matt and lots of odd characters for Mr. Dark to work on. That may sound like a lot of the other books in the series but this one has some differences that I can't describe here without giving out spoilers.
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on October 24, 2012
I started reading the series starting with one and was intrigued. You know sometimes it is hard to leave a cliffhanger alone. So I moved on to the next, and next, and next and realised I was wasting money. It's a hook and the problem is that each series is written by someone different which would be kind of cool, if all of the authors were of the same quality, but they are not. Some provide a good read and others do not, and sometimes you just have to let something go, like a bad habit.
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on January 10, 2014
The 9th installment of the Dead Man adventures, Carnival of Death allowed series creators Lee Goldberg and William Rabkin to bring prolific novelist Bill Crider into the fold. Listed as a major influence on the series, Crider had written over 75 novels, mostly in western and adventure genres. With his detailed knowledge of what made the classic Gold Medal Books work, he was an excellent choice.

In this episode, Matt Cahill, the man who was twice born, is working security for Cap’n Bob’s Stardust Carnival, traveling through the southern USA. Most of his duties involve keeping the carnies from beating each other up and stopping trouble with the locals. The owner of the carnival doesn’t want the cops called for any reason. Mr. Dark, Matt’s spectral nemesis, has yet put in an appearance.

But strange things have started happening since Matt took the job. Madam Zola, the fortune-teller, discovers she really does have “the gift”. Actually a woman named Gloria who fled an abusive home as a teenager, Madame Zola learned palmistry from a book. She discovered she had a knack for telling people what they wanted to hear. Now, she’s seeing into the real future and present of the people who come to see her. And what she sees isn’t always pretty. When Madam Zola does a reading on Matt she sees a dark body surrounding him, almost as if he has a twin.

The book opens with Matt dispatching a group of high schooler boys who are trying to rape a high school girl. No sooner than he’s taken care of them, 2 of the snake charmer’s snakes try to kill her. And earlier in the day, Matt has had to forcibly eject an unruly customer. It all smells of the influence of Mr. Dark, who is about to unleash a new set of terrors.

Crider is a professional writer of the highest caliber. You can feel it from this passage:

“After all, while not exactly affectionate, the pythons generally behave well onstage, and they return human affection as best they can in their reptilian way, which is to say they hardly ever kill their owners as long as they’re treated with kindness and respect.
Which was how Serena of the Serpents (real name, Louise Parker) had always treated Clem and Clementine (their real names), the two Burmese rock pythons that performed with her. It wasn’t much of a performance, to tell the truth. Mostly, Serena moved lazily in time to some snaky music played over a crackly speaker system, striking an occasional semi-erotic pose while Clem and Clementine slithered around her scantily clad body.”

When Mr. Dark does make and appearance, only Matt can see him. Time freezes and Mr. Dark makes a little jest which is a harbinger of horrors. But Matt is never able to do a thing, being frozen himself. Mr. Dark exits and the carnage proceeds.

The depiction of the carnival reminds me of the ones I used to attend as a kid in the Midwestern US. A few cheap attractions, some games you can’t win, and a lot of sugar candy. But after reading Carnival of Death, I’ll be staying off the rides.
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on May 2, 2013
Carnivals have been fodder for horror ever since Ray Bradbury wrote Something Wicked This Way Comes. But as menacing as the characters of Bradbury's tale were, Bill Crider decided his Carnival of Death needed something far more bloody.

The ninth installment in The Dead Man series has Matt Cahill working security for Cap'n Bob's Stardust Carnival, a rinky-dink midway that'd make most state fairs looks like Disneyland. Still, he's felt drawn there for some reason, and he's been waiting for signs of Mr. Dark's influence on anyone entering the fairgrounds. The one who starts seeing the signs first, however, isn't Matt, but the carnival's resident palm reader, Madame Zora.

Zora can't really tell you your future. It's just a schtick she learned. Until Matt showed up, that is. Then things got weird for her, as her premonitions started coming true, and the things she was telling patrons weren't concocted from her imagination, but true visions that increasingly scared the heck out of her. Things come to a head as one night at the carnival sees employees and patrons alike turning vicious and violent against one another, with Matt and Zora caught in the middle.

I really liked the setup for this installment, and Madame Zora was a nice twist in the supporting character department, with her having a more direct relationship with the plot and the outcome. The outcome though, particularly the big climax that sees a couple of the carnival goers infected by Mr. Dark going on a rampage felt a bit out of step with what I'd call the Dead Man canon. I don't want to spoil things with specifics, but if you read this book then you'll probably know what I mean.

All things considered, Carnival of Death keeps the pace for the series moving strong, and I'm looking forward to seeing where Matt Cahill winds up next.
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on February 7, 2013
I love every book in this series. Easy read creative freaky love it! Unique storyline , well written. Once you start reading you will not be able to put it down until you get to the end.
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on April 24, 2012
The entire series has been greatly enjoyable. Obviously not a hard read but a great way to pass an afternoon.
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on January 27, 2013
Good story but too short. I like the characters and want to know more about the back story. Matt's story
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on May 3, 2015
Entire series great so far for horror fans.
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