cover image The Loveliest Dead

The Loveliest Dead

Ray Garton, . . ARRAY(0x1b965e8), $40 (375pp) ISBN 978-1-58767-133-3

In this ironically titled shocker from horror maestro Garton (Live Girls ), the dead, who are pretty ugly, make life a hell for the living. Jenna and David Kellar, after a series of personal tragedies, the worst of which is the inexplicable death of their four-year-old son, Josh, hope to make a new start at the old family homestead they've inherited just outside Eureka, Calif., with their surviving son, Miles. Instead, they discover a nightmare. Ghostly children cavort mysteriously on the backyard swings and vanish at will. Tantalizingly, cruelly, one resembles Josh. After a slow start, the action pulls the reader into a frightening world of psychics, ouija boards and poltergeists. The scenario will remind many of Stephen King's The Shining , even though this workmanlike effort isn't in the same league as that classic. (Apr.)