Horror Fiction Reviews

The Loveliest Dead

By Ray Garton


Nerve-shredding Suspense and Horror

Synopsis Blurb

After the sudden death of their youngest child, Josh, Jenna and David Kellar need a fresh and healing new start. When Jenna is bequeathed her estranged father’s home in the coastal town of Eureka, California, it’s the opportunity the Kellars, their son Miles, and Jenna’s elderly mother have been looking for. And the last thing they expected. The house has been waiting for them, and so have those who still walk there in the dark.

There are the children seen playing in the backyard—at once innocent and terrifying; the noises and music that rattle the walls; the man who appears in Miles’s bedroom at night, watching over him with an unhealthy obsession. But when Jenna sees Josh, she fears that she’s either losing her mind or someone is playing a very sick game. For a local psychic, it’s neither—it’s a warning. For the Kellars, the past isn’t dead. In fact, it’s just starting to come alive.

Content Review

I read this on Saturday.  Yes, all of it.  No, not in one sitting.  I did have other stuff to do.  But once I started, it was very difficult to set it aside for any length of time.  This is what we call a compelling read.  Because it compels you to keep reading it and you are helpless against its pull.

The Loveliest Dead is an older book by Ray Garton. It has some truly horrific content, but said content is handled carefully, without unnecessary graphic detail.  I actually think the implied might be more horrific in places.  But, that’s me.  I kept expecting it to go more graphic than it did and that created its own suspense and tension.  Your level of trauma may vary.

In addition to THAT suspense is the inherent suspense that comes from a well written ghost story.  Garton builds on the classic ghost story theme with his personal style and skill, creating a horrific mystery thriller that just happens to also be a mind-scrambling horror story.  It’s brilliant and brilliantly done.

Garton’s characters are all too real and relatable, lacking the stereotyping inherent in classically themed books.  I can tell by other reviews that some people would have preferred the Hollywood style hero/heroine characters, but Garton does not play that game here.  His characters are fallible and their relationships with one another are realistic.  I found that both admirable and disturbing.  Disturbing because the reality element created by that is, well, disturbing.

I loved this story.  It is well constructed, well written, fast paced, and downright scary.  Thank you Ray Garton for this enjoyable, albeit nerve-shredding, read.

PS. Fun Fact:
My husband and I were doing the weekend lounge-and-read time thing that we both enjoy.  Early evening.  Lying on the bed.  Quiet house.  Just reading.  He was reading a RAMA novel.  I was reading this.  I was a bit over the halfway mark in the book, thoroughly engrossed in a particularly suspenseful part of the story.  Then I hear my husband break the silence by saying in all seriousness, “Did you hear that?”
I actually experienced a moment of panic as my mind wrenched itself from story to reality.  The fact that it was a real noise, a squeaky repeating noise, was not helpful.
Read the book to understand why.

Ultimately, the noise was a mocking bird.  Yes, I let it live.

Get The Loveliest Dead on Amazon:
US Link: The Loveliest Dead
UK Link: The Loveliest Dead


About the Author: Ray Garton

“Since I was eight years old, all I’ve wanted to be was a writer, and since 1984, I have been fortunate enough to spend my life writing full time. I’ve written over 60 books — novels and novellas in the horror and suspense genres, collections of short stories, movie novelizations and TV tie-ins — with more in the works.

My readers have made it possible for me to indulge my love of writing and I get a tremendous amount of joy out of communicating with them, which I’ve been able to do on various social media outlets such as Facebook and Twitter. You can also visit my home on the internet at http://www.raygartononline.com.

This is the place to find out what I’ve written, what I’m writing and where to get it. You can read my blog, keep up to date on new releases, take part in contests and read an occasional short story online.”


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