cover image Over Your Dead Body

Over Your Dead Body

Dan Wells. Tor, $26.99 (304p) ISBN 978-0-7653-8068-5

Sympathetic and insightful teen sociopath John Wayne Cleaver battles literal external demons as well as his metaphorical ones in the strong fifth entry (after The Devil’s Only Friend) in Wells’s contemporary horror series. After a confrontation with a powerful Withered demon, John and his team—reduced to his girlfriend, Brooke, and the rescued Boy Dog—are in pretty bad shape, but they continue their quest to track down and destroy the various Withered, despite their vastly reduced resources. Brooke’s possession by another Withered and the spirits of thousands of young women—including John’s erstwhile girlfriend Marci—is further complicated by Brooke’s recurring suicidal impulses. The fugitive trio journey to the unremarkable rural community of Dillon, Okla., searching for a largely unknown Withered. John’s attempts to deal with his desire to kill, his contradictory feelings toward Brooke, and the mundane struggles of their nomadic existence make the tale much richer than a simple monster vs. monster story. Agent: Sara Crowe, Harvey Klinger. (May)