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The Blood Mesa (Dead Man Book 5) by [Reasoner, James, Goldberg, Lee, Rabkin, William]
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The Blood Mesa (Dead Man Book 5) Kindle Edition

4.2 out of 5 stars 26 customer reviews
Book 5 of 21 in Dead Man (21 Book Series)
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Learn About the Dead Man Series
The Dead Man series blends the horror of Stephen King with the action of classic men's adventure pulp fiction to create short novels that are thrilling to read. See the whole series, available on Kindle.
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Editorial Reviews Review

Amazon Exclusive: Q & A with James Reasoner, author of The Blood Mesa

Question: You have been described by your admiring peers as the hardest working, most prolific writer in the business. How many books a year do you typically write?

James Reasoner: Recently I've been averaging 14 books a year.

Question: My God, that's amazing. How do you pull it off? What's the secret to being so prolific?

James Reasoner

James Reasoner: I once heard a writer described as someone who sat in a room and typed for 30 years. That's me. I don't do much else. Don't get me wrong -- I read, I watch movies, I do things with my family -- but when I go on vacation, the computer comes along and the work continues. I don't take time off between books. Often I've finished one book in the morning and started another that afternoon. But I think the real secret is that I enjoy writing. I have fun, and that's good since I spend so much time doing it. I've also been very lucky to have as many opportunities as I've had.

It helps, too, to be married to an award-winning author in her own right (Livia J. Washburn), who helps immensely with plotting and editing.

Question: Although you've written in many genres, most of your work seems to be westerns. What attracts you to the genre?

James Reasoner: I didn't set out to be a Western writer. My goal was to be a mystery writer, and I wrote and sold more than a million words of mystery fiction before I ever wrote a Western. But I'd always been a reader and fan of Western novels, and when the chance to write one came up, I was more than happy to give it a try. My motto has always been, "Sure, I can write that." I was working for a book packager at the time, and the company produced several different Western series. I really enjoyed writing that first one and found that I was good at it. My editor liked what I'd done and wanted more, so I became a Western writer. I love the genre because the Western is the classic American story. Also, it provides an opportunity to write many different kinds of yarns. I've done quite a few Westerns that are really mystery novels, I've done horror Westerns, I've done family sagas . . . There's just no end to what you can do with a Western.

Question: Writing books in a series you didn't create obviously isn't new for many different series have you contributed to over the years?

James Reasoner: At least 30. Maybe a few more.

Question: What appealed to you about The Dead Man series?

James Reasoner: The Dead Man was my first chance to write a really strong supernatural thriller. I mentioned that I've done horror Westerns, but these were novels that wound up having largely rational explanations for seemingly supernatural elements (what I call the Scooby-Doo Ending).The Dead Man is much closer to true horror, which is something I've always wanted to write. That, combined with the really fast-paced thriller element, was just an irresistible opportunity for me.

Question: How did your experience writing all those western series prepare you for The Dead Man? And what were some of the unique challenges?

James Reasoner: My Dead Man story is set in the American Southwest, so having written a great deal about that area allowed me to get the geography and the physical setting as right as I possibly could. Plus Westerns usually have a lot of action (mine certainly do, anyway), so I have plenty of experience in writing those sorts of scenes. Actually, that ties in with the challenge of writing The Blood Mesa. This is a horror novel, so I had to ask myself just how graphic to make the violence. It wound up being, well, pretty graphic.

Question: What did you enjoy most about writing The Blood Mesa?

James Reasoner: The pace, the action, the chance to write something where the reader (and by extension, the writer) almost never has a chance to take a breath. That was great fun. Plus the character of Matt Cahill and the situation in which he finds himself is very compelling. I was a big fan of the series before I ever wrote a word of my entry.

Question: What was it like working with the originators of the Dead Man series, Lee Goldberg and William Rabkin? Is it the same as working with the editors on a western series?

James Reasoner: Lee and Bill were great. They know Matt Cahill better than anyone else, of course, and were very helpful in making sure that I captured the character. We were on the same page as far as the pace and structure of the story was concerned, too. I've been lucky to have many fine editors over the years, and those two guys certainly fit that description as well.

Question: What other books do you have coming up?

Right now I have Tractor Girl,a hardboiled crime novel set in the Texas during the 1950s, available on Amazon for the Kindle and as a trade paperback from CreateSpace. I'm very fond of this one. It's a story I've wanted to write for a while. Later this fall my next book in the Rancho Diablo series will be available as well. This is a Western series I co-created with Mel Odom and Bill Crider, which we're writing under the house-name Colby Jackson. It's the on-going saga of a family establishing a ranch in Texas during the 1870s. Plus I'm continuing to write other Westerns and the occasional thriller under various pseudonyms. I stay busy.


If you like horror with a dash of suspense then you should read the Dead Man series. They are not only fun but addictive ... All of the books in the series are great and THE BLOOD MESA is no exception. On a scale of 1 to 5, I give it a 5! -- Futures Mystery Anthology Magazine

This story is the literary equivalent to a drag strip race...the story keeps accelerating until its brutal climax. That truly is its strength - it's rapid fire pace and its unflinching brutality --Permission to Kill

The story riffs off of some creepy western themes, with a hefty dose of cannibalism, whacko/zombie-movie mania, and did I mention there's a few sticks of dynamite thrown in for good measure? [...]It is highly recommended. -- Post Modern Pulps

Goes from 0 to 60 really quick...James Reasoner never lets up with the action or tense moments. Once the action kicks in, it does not stop until the last page. "Bring on book six!" is all I can say. --Bookgasm

Product Details

  • File Size: 216 KB
  • Print Length: 71 pages
  • Publisher: 47North (October 24, 2011)
  • Publication Date: October 24, 2011
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #451,318 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The Dead Man:Blood Mesa, ISBN 9781612187648, e-book by James Reasoner is one in a series of horror stories that would provide a script for a movie reminiscent of The Walking Dead and similar B-Pictures occasionally making their way out of the motion picture industry.
The protagonist, as a result of having survived being buried in by an avalanche for three months, has developed unique powers of observation. These powers allow him to see evil thoughts lying within a person as actual disgusting physical blemishes and lesions that are not discernable to others. He becomes involved in a series of activities attempting to save unsuspecting persons.
If one wishes to read more than one of this series, it is better to start with the first, or at least an earlier story. I read a second because I did not really `get the jist' of this book. (See also my review of Ring of Knives.)
In summary, The Dead Man Series should appeal to the reader of pulp fiction who likes endless bloody action and, for some, disgusting descriptions. Reviewed by John H. Manhold, award winning fiction/non-fiction author.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is the fifth book in the very exciting Dead Man series created by Lee Goldberg. I've enjoyed the previous volumes, but this time out is a must-read due to the presence of writer's writer James Reasoner. If Reasoner's name is on the cover, I'll read it; it's just that simple. Blood Mesa finds our hero Matt Cahill (on a quest to find and destroy the evil Mr. Dark) in the middle of an archeological dig on a sinister mesa in Arizona. But the archeology students have no idea they're about to uncover an ancient evil, tied mysteriously to Mr. Dark, that will bring out the corruption in their souls and force Matt to take extreme action to contain the situation. Reasoner really ratchets up the action in this novella--by the time you're twenty or so pages in, things heat up and don't cool down again until the staggering end.
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By Ilbob on January 11, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The Dead Man series are all fairly short stories, maybe an hour's read. They follow the same kind of story line.

Man wandering the country trying to deal with Mr. Dark, who seems to follow him and deal out misery to him and sometimes those around him.

One reviewer mentioned the gratuitous sex scenes. Yes, they exist. But, the genre almost demands them. if they bother you, they are readily skipped.

I got several of them for 99 cents each. I thought it was a pretty good deal. I enjoyed reading them, and that is why I would read this type of story.

Other reviewers have covered some of the plot lines, so I won't bother.
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This whole series of short stories is very well crafted. It incorporates that work of a number of very talented writers and it is easy to become enmeshed in the stories. It's a very interesting concept and throughout the entire series it continues to hold up.
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Format: Kindle Edition
The previous book in this series was more contemplative and revealing, while The Blood Mesa is an axe-swinging free-for-all bloody good time! That's what makes the Dead Man books a great read: You never know what Matt is in for, except that it's whatever the perpetually nasty Mr. Dark has up his sleeve.

And this time it's bad. It's so bad that you might not want to get too attached to certain characters (though it's hard not to root for them), you'll have a difficult time wagering who'll get off the Mesa in one piece. The setting was a beautiful way it was both desolate and frightening.

I really enjoyed the itinerary that James Reasoner set for Matt and can't wait to see who is going to hijack our hero in the next installment.
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Format: Kindle Edition
Now we're into the fifth leg of Matt Cahill's cross-country pursuit of Mr. Dark, this time with James Reasoner at the helm. After the four preceding installment; Face of Evil, Ring of Knives, Hell in Heaven, and The Dead Woman; the bar had been set fairly high for Reasoner in terms of gritty action and horror. So, how did this novella fare?

This time around, Matt is trudging through the remorseless heat on the New Mexico on his way, drawn as if by a divine force--or unholy one for that matter--toward a mesa in the middle of the desert. On his way, he meets up with a couple of archeologists driving to the same place to join the rest of their excavation team. Turns out there's an ancient settlement on top of the mesa believed to have been inhabited, and inexplicably abandoned, by the Anasazi. It's called the Blood Mesa, and with that, Matt gets a grimmer idea of why he's heading for that spot. And when he sees that one of the archeologists bears the same decay and putrescence that all subjects of Mr. Dark carry, a mark only he can detect, he realizes there is trouble to follow.

If you ever read Scott Smith's The Ruins, or watched the film adaptation as I did, then you might be familiar with the idea of a supernatural force inflicting itself on a group of isolated students on an ancient archeological site. There was a lot of drawn out suspense with that film, as I recall, gradually building the tension until they finally decided to make a break for it. Reasoner doesn't mince around with any of that and goes straight for the jugular, ramping up the danger almost immediately, plunging Matt, the professors, and students, in a blood-soaked rampage that echoes the kind of tragedy that may have befallen the Anasazi.
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