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Dead Girl Paperback – September 1, 2016
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***For a limited time, you can get a free copy of Craig's novel, Allied Zombies for Peace for free - click here to find out more > craignybo.com/freebook/ < (just copy and paste into your browser)***
I love true ghost stories and hauntings. Every small town in America has a haunted spot, a place where the teenagers go to freak themselves out, whether it be a bridge, a graveyard, a stretch of forest, or a weather-beaten, abandoned house.
My home town of Kaysville, Utah has such a spot; it's called Kay's Cross. The story goes, Bishop Kay, the founder of Kaysville, buried his 3 wives back-to-belly inside the cross. The three scarlet dead sisters hung there, suspended in eternal crucifixion, confined in the stone. Teenagers in Kaysville used to say if one stood too close, one of the book of dead sisters would claw through the stone and grab at you with a skeletal claw. Others said if you climbed up on top of the cross and looked down at the ground, you would see a surface swirling with maggots. Being a bit of a macabre-minded sole as a lad, I participated in both rituals and, to my dissatisfaction, there were no morbid consequences.
I dedicate Dead Girl to every teen haunt in every small town across America. This ghost boundary book tells the almost real story of a haunted bridge that could exist anywhere in America, perhaps right in your own town. Here's to scary books. I love them. I write them. I am excited to contribute Dead Girl to the ever-growing collection of them.
Happy reading and I wish you the most profound of lucent nightmares.
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Dead Girl starts innocently enough with threats of getting fired from his newspaper job before Vang goes chasing a lead in a backwater town in Utah. He uncovers a decades long curse that has claimed many lives, and is about to take more. The plot features a dead girl who is somehow possessing a car and killing people. The hotrod has more balls than a platoon of marines and takes lives whenever it gets out of the garage.
I loved reading the novel and found the main character’s voice so engaging. This would be a great book to listen to on audio book.
With this being my second Nybo novel, something I find interesting is that this is yet another story about small town life and the darkness that lurks under such a cute little “pumpkin town”. While I do think the town in Monsters has a bit more personality, these plots are different enough that they do hold their own weight. Dead Girl, for one thing, is written in the snarky, first person point of view of our main character, Block Vang. Vang is likable, but can be wholly obnoxious at times. But I enjoy that in a character. If you’re yelling at the book for the main character to “just stop lying, you idiot”, then the author has done something right. They’ve made you invest.
To keep from spoiling the mystery, I won’t talk about plot specifics. However, I will say that the twist at the end had me grinning for hours. I also enjoyed the fact that our aggressive spook was a lady, and a lady with sass no less. A ghost story will always have an element of tragedy, but it’s nice to have a ghost who is actively trying to fulfill their own goals instead of waiting for the protagonist to do it for them.
The only thing I found lacking was more information about the main character himself. Block often mentions when he investigated such and such, or encountered so and so. Seeing as this book claims to be from the “files” of Mr. Vang, I can’t help but have the tiniest hope we’ll see more from him. It would be nice to read about his first case, and see what made this smart mouthed reporter believe in the supernatural.
Now there are a few bumps in the plot here and there, some grammar mistakes and typos. I do feel like this book should have been edited one last time to smooth out the few little plot threads that stick out. I also recommend that this be purchased by the more mature reader. Towards the end, there is a scene that may leave some people feeling VERY uncomfortable. But, on that front, to each their own.
Dead Girl was a great way to kick off my Halloween, and I hope you can enjoy it as much as I did! It’s a fast read, with great characters and a good mystery.
As one of my favorite contemporary escapist authors, Nybo continues to deliver writing that is pure fun.
It has ghosts, a possessed car, a decades-old vendetta, revenge, teenaged love & a smart-ass reporter. Add in drag racing, an awesome muscle car & what's not to love? As Block Vang says, every small town has its ghost story. And this one does not disappoint. I don't know if Mr. Nybo has written more in the Block Vang files, but I certainly hope so.
If you decide to read this book, I suggest you grab a Beach Boys album to listen to as you read. A soundtrack was all that was missing in this awesome ride!