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Dead Silent

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When their graves are befouled by a gang of Goths, the dead will stay silent no longer.
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Author: Ivan Blake
Description

Chris Chandler is trying to escape the glare of the media while the State of Maine reviews his conviction and investigates the disappearance of so many corpses from Bemishstock. He flees to the tiny town of Lewis, Vermont where he’s been invited to house-sit the estate of a mysterious family with a history stretching back to the thirteenth century and the Albigensian Crusade. There he discovers one of the town’s prodigal sons has recently returned with a plan for a Goth festival and Grand Guignol Theater, which he’ll fund…with human remains. Once again, Chris and Gillian must do battle with grave robbers and hostile officials, this time with the aid of an ancient amulet and the spirit world itself, while they also struggle to free Chris of Mallory Dahlman’s vengeful spirit.

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Title Dead Silent
Series The Mortsafeman: Book 2
Author Ivan Blake
Genre New Adult Dark Fiction Fantasy
Release June 12, 2018
Designer Charlotte Volnek
Length coming soon
ISBN coming soon
Price $5.99
Tags Ghosts, grave robbers, Goths, mysticism, Cathars, Crusades, Grand Guignol theatre, spiritualism, supernatural, young love, haunted house, abandoned graveyards, skeletons, dying towns, abusive fathers

Excerpt

Gilbert had arrived in Arizona on a road trip with a couple of buddies. They’d spent three wild days in Hermosillo, Mexico, right after getting out of the army, then broke and hung-over, they’d taken some dirt road back across the border and ended up in Sells where some huge Indian cop had thrown them in jail for driving too fast through town. After a night in a bug-infested cell, his buddies had paid their fines and left Sells as soon as they’d got their asses in gear, but Gilbert had gone for a walk around town looking for breakfast. He’d followed some good looking, xxx squaw into the local clinic where he’d discovered the town needed a nurse, and since he’d been an army medic, he’d qualified, so for some inexplicable reason, on the spur of the moment he’d decided to stay. Well, maybe his decision wasn’t so inexplicable. The last thing Gilbert had wanted in all the world had been to return to goddamn Lewis, Vermont, to his dad’s hell-hole of a movie theater where Gilbert had worked from the time he could walk until the day he’d enlisted, and to his aimless and excruciating existence as Big Bo Burgoyne’s son. And Sells, Arizona, was about as far away from Lewis, Vermont, as one could get in the lower forty-eight.

   Amazingly, he’d managed to make a kind of a life for himself in Sells, the incredibly pale white guy with the creepy gray eyes, as everyone knew him. He’d rented a couple of rooms over a laundromat in a strip mall, eaten every meal at the diner where they’d called him milkman, and fallen in love with stargazing, alone, out in the desert. In fact, he’d been out in the desert stargazing when he’d first happened upon the skull that was to change his life.

   He’d found Mort—seemed an appropriate nickname at the time—half buried in a sand dune late one night, and for weeks thereafter, Mort had sat stuffed with red Christmas lights on Gilbert’s bedside table like the weirdest nightlight ever. Mort’s real name had probably been Javier or Jesus or Conchita or some such fesskin name since he’d almost certainly been a stupid fence-hopper who’d died of thirst trying to get to Tucson, but Gilbert hadn’t held that against him. He’d rechristened Mort white and made him a sort-of friend in the same stupid way some buddies in Grenada had befriended their rifles. But then Gilbert had needed fifty bucks to fix the shocks on his car so he’d put an ad in Weird Magazine, and within days, Mort had been off to California.

   Gilbert had been sorry to see Mort go, but then on another starlit night, he’d come across a second skeleton huddled under a stone outcropping. It had been a sign; Mexican ivory, chuco gold, out there in the sand, just waiting to be found. Within six months, he’d sold eleven skulls and three complete skeletons. Not bad at all. On one hike alone, he’d found two adults and a kid under a canvas sheet where they’d huddled together in a last desperate attempt to escape the blazing sun. He’d had to do a bit of cleaning up with that group; there’d still been some meat on their bones, but what a price he’d got for the kid!

   One night, he’d come across a poor bastard—couldn’t have been more than sixteen—who hadn’t been quite dead, laying in the dirt, begging for water. Gilbert stayed with the boy for an hour, maybe two. Of course he hadn’t wasted any water on the kid, but he’d talked to him about stars and constellations and comets until the boy finally died. Then Gilbert had taken the kid’s head and hands. Now that had been messy. Afterwards, he’d covered the rest of the corpse with sand and sagebrush so he could harvest the rest another time.

   After selling his third skull, Gilbert had set up a small factory in a rented storage locker on the outskirts of town. Okay, so maybe his factory hadn’t been much more than a worktable, a grinding tool to shape teeth, a tub of lye for stripping flesh, and a bucket filled with strong tea for aging bone. But what a business he’d done after that, sending “authentic” werewolf, vampire and even alien remains all over the world.

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