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The Dead Run: A Novel by Adam Mansbach

The Dead Run: A Novel

by Adam Mansbach

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Erik Bergmann
  jmail | Mar 21, 2016 |
Supernatural, semi-horror, entertaining, not terribly scary, enjoyed it ( )
  NatalieSW | Aug 21, 2015 |
The reader knows off the bat that the story will be dealing with the unnatural as a man lost in the desert sees a beautiful girl. He believes it's only a dream until she takes a bite from his thigh.

The action takes place on the California-Mexican border. Jess Galvin is in a Mexican jail after being arrested when he tried to stop an incident against a young girl which took place in the back room of a bar.

After Jess successfully defends himself in a jail incident, he's offered freedom if he would do one job. He's to transport a beating heart across the desert, travel to a holy site where the power has been sealed by holy blood and deliver an item into the hands of the man's son. The item is a beating heart.

Another character of note is Sherry Richards, a sixteen-year-old girl who is abducted.

The final person that the story follows is an honest sheriff whose jurisdiction is in a Texas border town.

We know that the deal for Jeff to cross the desert is from a devil like person who wants Jeff's soul and along the way, there is an Army of Virgins, young girls who arise from the desert and seek revenge on those who travel there.

The plight of the three central characters is followed as they get into one seemingly impossible situation after another.

The story reminded me of Stephen King's "The Stand" where the forces of good meet up with an army of evil figures who want to rule over the earth.

The novel was a quick read but a little too long for me. Although this is not my usual reading choice, I did find the novel entertaining. ( )
  mikedraper | Jan 22, 2015 |
An action packed, quick paced story! One man, Jess Galvan, must cross a desert with the heart of a virgin in a box - that's still beating! And an undead Virgin Army, a biker gang, a corrupt Federale, and a cult stand in his way! Bullets fly, machetes hack, and cars crash! I Liked it all! The end was a bit of a let down though. Too much of a set up for a sequel. ( )
  Stahl-Ricco | Jan 22, 2014 |
Review courtesy of Dark Faerie Tales

Quick & Dirty: Tasked with carrying a package to an unknown location, Jess Galvan is about to get a lot more than he bargained for. For the chance to see his daughter again though, any risk is worth the price.

Opening Sentence: It was almost dawn and Mulligan was nine-tenths dead, dragging one leg after the other out of sheer dumb will.

The Review:

I spent the first 30-40% of this book mentally writing my 2 star review, planning on citing the unlikeable characters and some distasteful content as reasons for my dislike of the novel. Then, a funny thing happened. I started having a harder time putting the book down. The ends of chapters would leave me anxious, desperately wanting to know what would happen next. I’m not sure exactly how that happened, but I’m definitely not complaining about it!

The main plot revolves around a handful of characters. The true main character in my opinion is Jess Galvan. Galvan has spent the last year in a Mexican prison, serving time for ticking off the wrong guy. All Galvan wants is to see his daughter again and get custody of her from her mother. After a prison riot, a mysterious man makes Galvan an offer he can’t refuse: deliver a package for him, and he can have his freedom. Thus begins a journey that is going to be much more complicated and dangerous than Galvan could have imagined.

Sherry is a teenage girl, new to the area. After spending a day at the pool to get away from her religious fanatic mother, Sherry is kidnapped by a terrifying man. Thus begins the longest day of her life.

Nichols is a Texas sheriff, frustrated by the hand he’s been dealt in life. He’s contacted by Sherry’s mother, who is convinced something awful has happened. While investigating, Nichols meets Ruth Cantwell, a therapist who is close to Sherry. Together, they embark on a journey that will forever change them.

As I stated before, none of the characters start off (and in some cases, never become) very likeable. This made it very hard for me to get through the first part of the book. We’re told Galvan wants to reunite with his daughter, but that comes off as an afterthought, making it seem like the fact is just there to make the reader think “this is a good guy.” The actions he makes didn’t endear Galvan to me. It wasn’t until he met up with the real bad guys that I started to root for him, almost a case of choosing the lesser of two evils.

Sherry, on the other hand, started out unlikeable, but then became a character you could really root for. She starts out so weak that I rolled my eyes repeatedly at her actions. The moment she started to change, I found myself looking forward to every one of her chapters.

After a slow start, the plot really picks up. By the time you reach the halfway point, the book is pretty much nothing but action. Every chapter leaves you wanting more. It should be said that this book isn’t for those with weak stomachs. While not gratuitously graphic, there are some scenes that are hard to read. If you can deal with the violence and the slow start though, then you should really give this book a chance. I will definitely be checking out more by this author!

Notable Scene:

“Aren’t you forgetting something?” she asked, nodding at the shotgun.

Nichols unfolded his sunglasses and slid them on, the metal frames still cool from the air-conditioned ride.

“Heavy artillery tends to make folks less cooperative. I like to start with a nice friendly chat, build my way up to the armed standoff from there. That work for you, doc, or would you rather wait in the car? ‘Cause technically, you know, you really shouldn’t be here at all.”

And neither should I, Nichols thought.

Cantwell’s reply was low and even. “These are bad people, Sheriff.”

“And yet, amazingly, they have rights. Some of them even take to a court of law to defend those rights when they get trampled.” Nichols squared his shoulders to her. “Look, whenever it’s humanly possible, I do things by the book, because that book was written by smarter sons of bitches than me, and it was written to keep sons of bitches like me alive. It’s bad enough I’m investigating outside my jurisdiction, on your tip. But until I find some evidence, that’s all it is – a tip. So forgive me if I don’t start blasting away at everything that moves like this was Grand Theft Auto. We understand each other?”

Cantwell’s mouth was drawn tight. “Yes.”

“Peachy. Come on, then.” Nichols hitched up his belt and headed for the building. Halfway there, he turned to her. “For the record, I got nothing against Grand Theft Auto. It’s a damn fun game.”

FTC Advisory: Harper Voyager provided me with a copy of The Dead Run. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review. ( )
  DarkFaerieTales | Dec 25, 2013 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 006219965X, Hardcover)

With thrilling chills and crackling suspense, The Dead Run is an edgy novel set in the netherworld of the Mexican-American border from Adam Mansbach, the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Go the F**ck to Sleep and Rage Is Back.
On both sides of the border, girls are going missing and bodies are beginning to surface. It’s a deadly epidemic of crime that plunges a small-town police chief into a monster of an investigation he's not equipped to handle. An ancient evil has returned, and now everyone—the innocent and the guilty—must face their deepest terrors.

With The Dead Run Adam Mansbach delivers an eerie high-concept thriller, mixing horror, the supernatural, and suspense in a chilling, high-octane read.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:18:34 -0400)

"[A]n edgy novel set in the netherworld of the Mexican-American border. On both sides of the border, girls are going missing and bodies are beginning to surface. It's a deadly epidemic of crime that plunges a small-town police chief into a monster of an investigation he's not equipped to handle. An ancient evil has returned, and now everyone-- the innocent and the guilty-- must face their deepest terrors" -- from publisher's web site.… (more)

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