Saturday 22 August 2009


After his wife's sudden death, Nicholas leaves the life he had in London and returns home to Australia. He knows something is very wrong and feels he is teetering on the brink of madness. But the truth is much, much more sinister and dates back to his childhood: when Nicholas was ten years old he found a strange talisman near the woods close to his home. He didn't touch it but felt its menacing power and ran. Later, he told his best friend, Tristram, about it. They returned to the woods together to seek it out and Tristram picked it up. That same day Tristram was murdered. There is something lurking in the woods that knows Nicholas is back...it has been waiting. Because the wrong boy died.

On the night Nicholas returns home another boy goes missing and when his body is found it is clear that his murder is chillingly similar to Tristram's. Forced to uncover long-buried secrets Nicholas finds himself and those he loves in great danger. And he realises that he is linked to a hideous and enchanting nemesis who will stop at nothing to get what she needs. This is a brilliantly told thriller with characters and events so grounded in reality that it is horrifyingly believable.

This is one spooky book by Aussie author, Stephen M. Irwin. A story that chilled me to the bone and made me squirm in my seat with its vivid imagery, and often disturbing scenes. I was hooked from the beginning.

When Nicholas loses his wife after a freak accident, he blames himself and decides to leave London. He just can't handle seeing ghosts caught in their deathly cycles in London anymore. So, he returns to Australia, to the place where he grew up. The same place where a whole lot of horrible things happened, but his mother still lives there and he decides to stay with her for a little while. Not realising that his return has reawakened an old evil that haunted him as a kid. Not to mention that even here, he still sees ghosts.

I love a book that firmly puts you in a real life world, with real life problems and then before you realise what's going on, has thrown you into the depths of a supernatural situation that is creepy, mysterious, and damn scary. Of course, by then, it's too late to surface from the depths you've willingly dived into.

This is exactly what this book did to me.

The Dead Path is a brilliant story about a man whose past catches up with him in the most freaky way possible. Of how ancient secrets never really die. Of a horrid mystery that lives inside The Woods of Tallong and wants to devour Nicholas.

I enjoyed how downright scary this book got in some spots. Some scenes were very disturbing and made me uncomfortable, but you know, I loved every minute of it! This one's a book worth checking out. A great horror story with a cast of characters that will keep you interested until the last - very chilling - word.

The Dead Path, July 2009 , ISBN 0733623743, Hachette Aust Paperback (C)

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