By Deborah Coates
(Tor Books, Paperback, 9780765329011, 320pp.)
Publication Date: February 11, 2014
Other Editions of This Title: Hardcover
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Now that she's solved her sister's murder, Hallie Michaels has left the army and isn't sure what to do next. Her relationship with deputy Boyd Davies is tentative, there's still distance between her and her father, and she needs a job. The good news is, she hasn't seen a ghost in weeks.
All that changes when she gets a call asking her to help an elderly neighbor who is being stalked by black dogs, creatures from the underworld that are harbingers of death. When a black dog appears, Hallie learns, a reaper is sure to follow. And if the dark visions she's suddenly receiving are any indication, it looks like the reaper is now following her.
Meanwhile, strange events herald the arrival of ghosts from Boyd's past, ghosts the young deputy isn't ready to face. Refusing Hallie's help, Boyd takes off to deal with the problem on his own, only to find that he's facing something much larger and more frightening than he'd imagined.
Stalked by a reaper and plagued by dark visions, Hallie finds she must face her fears and travel into Death's own realm to save those she most loves.
Deep Down is the chilling sequel to Wide Open, Deborah Coates's "refreshingly original dark fantasy debut." (Publishers Weekly)
DEBORAH COATES lives in Ames, Iowa, and works for Iowa State University. Her short fiction has appeared in Asimov's and Strange Horizons, as well as Year's Best Fantasy 6, Best Paranormal Romance, and Best American Fantasy.
Coates' writing is clean and solid, her plotting believable, even though the events are often otherworldly, and her voice strong and consistent. What makes her books more interesting than most is that she avoids the usual paranormal subjects and finds, instead of zombies and vampires, more fascinating and esoteric creatures upon which to balance the action.