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Dead Soul Mary: A Novel by [Winn, M.J.]
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Dead Soul Mary: A Novel Kindle Edition

4.1 out of 5 stars 71 customer reviews

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Length: 603 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
Page Flip: Enabled

Featured in Suspense thrillers
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Editorial Reviews


(5 STAR REVIEW, IR Approved, IR Top Book Pick) "...the novel's powerful kick to the "tell it like it is" solar plexus is a big part of what makes the story so formidable. It is a rich, dense novel... The horror lies not in the shock value of jarring scares but in the insidious creep of emotional degradation on a soul-deep level. Winn precisely crafts his characters in such a way that the reader can't help but be emotionally invested in the journey they take, which makes the horror all the more appalling."   -IndieReader

"A vast number of horror novels produced today represent genre formula writing at its worst, with shallow characters, predictable plots, and story premises that don't seem very extraordinary. Not so in Dead Soul Mary... Winn takes plenty of time to build up plot and protagonist - and it pays off big time... So it's a real pleasure to find a slowly-building plot where the horror element is tempered by the motivations, influences and history of realistic people just trying to live their lives."    -D. Donovan, Senior eBook Reviewer, Midwest Book Review

"The ability to draw the reader into the concept of soul death and still make the story a mystery driven thriller takes talent - a gift MJ Winn so obviously has. He writes with the skill of a poet, imbues his narration with dark humor, creates a plot scenario like a playwright, and all the while keeps his story as fine literature. Talent, incipient notoriety. Read and see".   -Literary Aficionado

About the Author

MJ Winn is an author of harrowing stories of suspense. Read at your own risk.

Product Details

  • File Size: 1451 KB
  • Print Length: 603 pages
  • Publisher: Janday Publishing (February 28, 2014)
  • Publication Date: February 28, 2014
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #563,552 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Jay Mittener TOP 1000 REVIEWER on April 12, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I would fist like to say that this cover art is exceptional. I will admit that I readily, easily, and regularly DO judge a book by it's cover and this one wins. It's a beautiful photo that combined with the title make buying and reading a no-brainer.

M.J. Winn comes out of the gates with his first published novel and should be exceptionally proud. It is a book that immerses you immediately and keeps the pages turning.

The novel is unique in that it spans a great time frame from late 60's into the early 2K's, and Winn handily is able to use both image and vocabulary to put you in the place in time. This is a rare talent. This is a thriller, maybe even a horror story to some- and it will leave you with a gasp stuck right in the middle of your throat.

This is definitely an adult book with mature themes, but let's face it the genre calls to the 16-25 set and given society today I think it's appropriate for a later teen to adult.

Thanks for a great book, keep them coming.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Long Island author Michael James Winn is both a writer and a police officer whose debut novel DEAD SOUL MARY gives notice of an impressive new talent. Though there is an increasing number of writers incorporating horror stories into their shelve of themes, very likely due to the growing affinity for the genre as indicated by the popularity of serials such as the Twilight series, the Divergent series et al that seem to be devised with subsequent film adaptations that continue to tick coins into the coffers, there remain a relatively small number of writers to whom this genre seems so natural that their works have staying power - think Poe, HP Lovecraft, Richard Matheson, MR James, Dean Koontz, Algernon Blackwood, Stephen King. What makes these authors stand above the others is their ability to incorporate the incredulous moments into the landscape of stories that seem so organic that they are all the more strange and terrifying. There are elements in this very long debut novel that arise so frequently in the tale that their presence suggests that MJ Winn may just be stepping into that realm.

One particular aspect of Winn's capacity to scare the reader enough to check the lights and locked doors while reading is his very subtle dropping of hints about characters - a mere fragment of a sentence or a phrase that reveals how the mind of that character is functioning. And once we realize that Winn is dealing with that nebulous concept of souls, and the death of souls while the corporal housing remains living, he makes us search for clues that are present on every page of this elegant writing.
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The author shows lives intersecting and the influence of others’ choices on their own paths.
It shows how our lives are Interwoven stories yet we all have our own individual demons that we must endure alone. Sometimes creepy and often embarrassing, seeing people’s actions when no one is watching can be disturbing.

M.J. Winn describes well-defined characters that make you picture quirky people you may know. I was routing for the shy, awkward Drew, the sad, lonely police officer and Megan, the somewhat naïve high school senior. The characters are well rounded. Each has their flaws as well as sensitive side. A mother and daughter battle their pain through obesity. Trish is the promiscuous teenager looking for attention. Megan is the adopted Korean girl trying to blend in with her white family and friends. Delores and Desmond have a difficult mother and son relationship that degrades as they struggle with poverty and loss.

Each person is searching for a way to fit in and experience love of some kind amidst their complicated and messy daily lives.

I don’t know what to say about this book. It was perfectly entertaining for the first 85% of it but the ending was unsatisfying. I wanted a better explanation of why the murders occurred. There were too many elusions to religious meaning without explanations.
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Dolores has lost her job and is facing eviction. In order to save the roof over her and her son Desmond’s head she succumbs to the sexual favors in order to stay where she is. Desmond leads a life of criminal activity and does bad things to people. Megan, a typical 17-year old teenager is trying to find her way and teams up with an unlikely ally with Drew. There are many story lines to follow in this scary novel and at times I felt a little lost, but I kept reading and in the end it all comes together. The author has such an imagination for stories which makes this book so good. It is a bit scary and gruesome, but if you don’t mind definitely read it.
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I haven't read much horror in a long time. Of course, I was excited to read this book. DEAD SOUL MARY is a book that deals with the evil in us all.

First off, I have no idea why there is MARY in the title. The "DEAD SOUL" part does come up, but later in the book. However, there is no one named Mary in the book. The only thing I could come up with is the spirituality or religious undertone this book has. It isn't overly religious, there is no one shoving their beliefs down the reader's throat, but there is the underlying thought of kindness is strength that is important. Being the loving and compassionate mother of God, the Virgin Mary could be the influence to the "MARY" part of the book, but this is purely speculation in my part.

The book is slow going at first. There is a lot of character development in the beginning and the writing doesn't really change pace until about 14% in. It then changes again around 50% and again in 80%. Each change makes you excited to the point where you may be at the edge of your seat come 80%(which I was).

That said, I had no idea what was going on until the ending. What I mean by that, is that I had no idea where the book was going. Which can be a good or bad thing. In this case, I liked where it ended even though I wish it had some predictability. The absence could put off a reader, but with the changes of pacing, the reader should want to keep going.

The characters are not brilliant. I disliked Megan in the beginning and it wasn't until the 80% that I really began liking her. She is selfish and thinks too much about sex and strange sexual fantasies for my taste. By the end though, I found great promise in her and am happy with who she becomes. Drew is another character I didn't like nor really dislike.
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