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Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Book Review: Dead Souls: A Novel by J. Lincoln Fenn

Dead Souls: A Novel
by J. Lincoln Fenn
September 20th 2016

by Gallery Books
ebook, 352 pages
From the award-winning author of the acclaimed novel Poe comes an edgy and bone-chilling new novel.

When Fiona Dunn is approached in a bar by a man who claims he’s the devil, she figures it’s just some kind of postmodern-slash-ironic pickup line. But a few drinks in, he offers her a wish in exchange for her immortal soul, and in addition, Fiona must perform a special favor for him whenever the time comes. Fiona finds the entire matter so absurd that she agrees. Bad idea. Not only does Fiona soon discover that she really was talking to the devil incarnate, but she’s now been initiated into a bizarre support group of similar “dead souls”—those who have done the same thing as Fiona on a whim, and who must spend their waking hours in absolute terror of that favor eventually being called in...and what exactly is required from each of them in order to give the devil his due.

Fiona Dunn thinks her boyfriend, Justin, is cheating on her with a woman in a pink raincoat. Not able to catch up with them and locked out of her apartment, she heads to a bar. Next thing she knows, she agrees to sell her soul in exchange for the ability to become like a ghost so she can check out her boyfriend. Fiona has trust issues thanks to her childhood with drug addict parents and she has always ended her relationships in the past. But when she gets home, she finds that he was not cheating on her, that the woman was actually his sister, taking him to find out if he has cancer. Fiona has sold her soul for nothing. But she uses this power she now has to get ahead in her job so she can make life good for Justin (who has moved in with her) and herself. She also meets with others who have sold their souls to Scratch at a former church, now a bar, called Make Westing. Fiona has been reading through a book made by former dead souls over the years and discovered something called the double deal. She is figuring it out, if it really can be done, and how she can use it with her marketing skills to get the Devil to give it to her, and take her out of the "favor" he asks of all his contracted souls, and also to cure her boyfriend.

J. Fenn Lincoln takes the deal with the Devil tale and adds something new to it. I wasn’t crazy about what she chooses at the end, but the novel is chilling, atmospheric, and highly suspenseful. Warning: there are some graphic scenes, but it is horror/dark fantasy.

I give Dead Souls 5 ‘devilish’ sheep

Pamela K. Kinney

About the Author:
Fenn began her horror career in the 7th grade when she entertained her friends at a sleepover by telling them the mysterious clanking noise (created by the baseboard heater) was in fact the ghost of a woman who had once lived in the farmhouse, forced to cannibalize her ten children during a particularly bad winter.

It was the last slumber party she was allowed to have.
The author grew up in New England, graduated from the University of New Hampshire with a degree in English, and lives in Seattle with her family.
In 2013, POE won the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award for Sci-Fi/Fantasy/Horror and became a #1 bestseller  in both Fantasy and Horror on Amazon.

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