The Dead Path
Stephen M. Irwin
Doubleday, Oct 5 2010, $25.95
Widower Nicholas Close fears he is losing his mind since his wife Cate died. He wonders if it is grief playing tricks with his sanity as he sees ghosts play out their final moments of life; most of the replays are violent deaths.
Needing relief from the horrific visions, Nicholas returns from London where he and his late wife lived for years to his family home in Tallong, Australia. However, instead of comfort from being at a place of supposed fond childhood memories even his mom wished he stayed in London. His first night in town has the cops show him a picture of a missing boy; but the photo frightens Nicholas as the child is his childhood friend Tristam whose brutal murder happened twenty-five yeas ago. When he sees Tristam’s ghost, he begins to investigate this and other local homicides he now bears witness to. Nicholas also peruses his father's occult book collection in which he concludes that ancient desecrated rituals are being practiced by those who believe he should have died years ago when his friend did.
The Dead Path is a great horror thriller starring Nicholas who sees ghosts, but this is not the Ghost Whisperers or the Ricky Gervais’ movie Ghost Town pleading for help to enter the light as he learns about human demons and other evils wanting him dead. Fast-paced yet character driven as Nicholas fears he has no way off The Dead Path except perhaps in his death.