This review initially appeared on http://www.deadheadreviews.com.
*4 out of 5*
After 69 made my Top 10 of 2019, you can bet your ass I jumped on an ARC of Meyer’s latest work, Dead Daughters. And although I didn’t love it as much as I did 69, I still found this one to be a worthy recommendation (and a favorite read of 2020, thus far).
Our lead, Drew, is an ex-addict-turned-fitness-instructor, thanks to his supportive and amazing wife. Together, they have an adorable, little girl who has just had herself a birthday. All is great, it seems. But fuck, is there so much unwinding around them. After receiving some unwanted mail – a photograph of a dead child that looks hauntingly similar to their own daughter – Drew’s world is turned into a nightmare of “who are you” and “what are you doing here” kind of scenarios.
The ride is sufficiently suspenseful and thrilling throughout, but I think the first half or so of Dead Daughters held me better than the rest; the reason being I figured out the twist pretty early on and – despite my desire to be proven wrong, that there was more to it than I was guessing – the twist came about as I expected, with little deviation. Now, don’t get me wrong – I liked the twist, for the most part. I just felt like there should have been more, something else to push me over the edge (like another layer). Even the final page was something I’d seen coming, so I did feel a little disappointment in the end.
Despite a weak third act (by comparison, I mean), Dead Daughters struck a nerve with me more than once. Being a father of my own little girl, I couldn’t help but feel my own intense fear during sequences of this book. Meyer is a great writer with a fun imagination, and Dead Daughters proves that once again. Even if this one spirals into B-horror-movie territory (in my opinion), the majority of it is scary and all-too-realistic at times. Even the twist is almost plausible in some ways (though, still very sci-fi). However the finale hits you, chances are you will still walk away from this one highly satisfied. And seeing as Meyer has left it open for a sequel (or prequel), we might be lucky enough to get more of Drew in the future. Fingers crossed!
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