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The Damned by Andrew Pyper
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The Damned

by Andrew Pyper

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Danny Orchard wrote a bestselling memoir about his near-death experience in a fire that claimed the life of his twin sister, Ashleigh, but despite the resulting fame and fortune he’s never been able to enjoy his second chance at life. Ash won’t let him.

In life, Danny’s charming and magnetic twin had been a budding psychopath who privately terrorized her family—and death hasn’t changed her wicked ways. Ash has haunted Danny for twenty years and now, just when he’s met the love of his life and has a chance at real happiness, she wants more than ever to punish him for being alive—so she sets her sights on Danny’s new wife and stepson.

Danny knows what Ash really wants is him, and he’s prepared to sacrifice himself in order to save the ones he loves. The question is: will he make it back this time?
( )
  jan.fleming | Nov 9, 2015 |
Pyper excels at throwing realistic characters into impossible situations, never losing focus on their humanity as his diabolical imagination forces them into circumstances that would mentally cripple most of us. At its heart, The Damned is a tale of family dynamics, of the power biological bonds hold over us, to the point that they may supersede our moral standards. You’ll read The Damned for its nerve-rattling intensity, but you’ll remember it for its understanding of humanity.

Read more at the Redeblog. ( )
  ShelfMonkey | Aug 7, 2015 |
I only have one thing to say-

Please, sir, I want some more.

(Loved) ( )
  LisMB | Jul 22, 2015 |
Twins, Ashleigh and Danny Orchard were born dead. Their mother, not willing to accept the news, held her twins and prayed fervently. Unfortunately the wrong deity heard her pleas and when the twins miraculously begin breathing mom knew right away something was not quite right about Ashleigh. On their 16th birthday Ashleigh and Danny died again, this time – Ashleigh stayed dead (sort of) and Danny went on to write a book about his after-life experience, which was rather pleasant, all things considered.
Danny explains, “When you’re dead, you know that’s what you are. You always hear about the other ones, the souls who need help “crossing over”, the confused loved ones in those paranormal TV shows who ghost around at the foot of the bed, needing to be told it’s time to go. But in my experience there’s no mistaking it with being alive, because where I went after the fire was something better than being alive. Heaven, you’d have to call it. A slightly altered replay of the happiest day of my life.”

His book produced a following of “Afterlifers” but it wasn’t until Danny met Violet Grieg that he understood not everyone shared his pleasant “after life” experience and sometimes, when you come back you do not come back alone. That’s how Ash ended up on the couch beside him watching television and, that’s why he couldn’t lead a normal life. When Danny finally meets Willa, the love of his life, and her son Eddie, who immediately takes a special spot in Danny’s heart, he’s worried. He knows that Ash is jealous of his being alive and now she might do anything to ruin (end?) his life.

There have been a plethora of “non-fiction” books written about near-death experiences. I recall hearing somewhere, although I am not sure I agree, that as humans we are the only animals aware of our eventual departure from life so of course people are curious about what happens “after”. I speculate that as long as there have been human beings capable of thinking there have also been tales of ghosts and hauntings. In “The Damned” Mr. Pyper brings the two together in a very frightening way.

I love a good scary book and this one had several chill-worthy scenes. I was speaking to my daughter about “The Damned” (she also loves scary books for which I will not take the credit – blame, I mean blame) when I was about 2/3 of the way through this book and mentioned to her that “unless it goes south in the last part this could be one of the best ghost stories I’ve read”. Well, unfortunately, it did. I hate making negative comments about authors I enjoy but in this case the last ¼ of the book just went a little to far into “fantasy” realm for my taste.

Is it a good, scary read? Absolutely.

Would I recommend it? Yes – with the suggestion that you also pick up Mr. Pyper’s “Lost Girls” and/or “The Guardians” for more, and different, examples of what an excellent writer he truly is.
( )
  ChristineEllei | Jul 14, 2015 |
Ok, so I'm only about 100 pages into this book, but I have to note a little error. In a sort of dream/near death experience scene, the main character is in the Detroit of 1989. However, he mentions passing Comerica Park (where the Detroit Tigers play). Comerica Park actually did not exist in 1989. Tigers Stadium was in use until 1999. Comerica Park wasn't opened until either late 1999 or early 2000. Just thought I'd make a note of that. But, since it does take place in a dream-ish sequence, I suppose I can let it slide. ( )
  Shannon29 | Jun 25, 2015 |
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To Heidi, Maude, and Ford
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My name is Danny Orchard.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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"Danny Orchard died on his 16th birthday-and so did his twin sister, Ashleigh-but only Danny came back. He wrote a bestselling memoir about his experience of heaven called The After, but despite his fame and fortune he's never been able to enjoy his second chance at life. His sister won't let him. Charming and magnetic in life, Ash appeared perfect to outsiders but the budding psychopath privately terrorized her family, and that hasn't stopped with her death. She's haunted Danny for twenty years and now, just when he's met the love of his life and has a chance at a real family, Ash is more determined than ever to keep him all to herself. Danny's already been to heaven. But in order to silence his sister once and for all, he'll have to meet her where she now resides. Which means he has to die one more time before he - and the ones he loves - can go on living."--… (more)

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