Kate’s Review (and Giveaway!): “The Twisted Dead”

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Book: “The Twisted Dead (Gravekeeper #3)” by Darcy Coates

Publishing Info: Poisoned Pen Press, February 2023

Where Did I Get This Book: I received a paperback copy from the publisher.

Where You Can Get This Book: WorldCat | Amazon | Indiebound

Book Description: Keira is ready for her life to return to normal. Though, to be fair, normal is a tall ask when your ability to see ghosts has landed you the job of groundskeeper in a small town’s cemetery.

When Keira receives an invitation to dinner at Dane Crispin’s crumbling ancestral estate, she knows she can’t refuse. The last living descendant of the Crispin family is reclusive. Keira only met him once…on the night he tried to kill her.

The mansion is steeped in history that is equal parts complicated and bloody. Keira senses the presence of restless spirits the moment she steps through its door. And Dane, waiting for her inside, wants to ask for her help.

Review: Thank you to Poisoned Pen Press for sending me a copy of this novel!

We have come to the final entry in my reviews of Darcy Coates’s “Gravekeeper” Series! The most recent book, “The Twisted Dead”, is the third in what I hope is a long running series, and I was very eager to see where Coates was going to take ghost whisperer Keira and her sidekicks Mason, Zoe, and cat Daisy next. I feel like horror is a genre that doesn’t tend to have long running series as much as say romances or mysteries, so I’m quite pleased that we get to spend more time with this merry band of misfits. And “The Twisted Dead” is my favorite adventure yet!

Coates really knows how to balance out the more jovial and lighthearted tone of this series with genuinely creepy supernatural and ghostly moments and mythologies. We have picked up very close to where we left off with “The Ravenous Dead”, Keira having recently freed a shade (or malevolent and rage filled spirit) that had been tormenting the other ghosts in the cemetery, and now she has been invited to the home of Dane Crispin, local wealthy hermit who may or may not have tried to kill Keira, Mason, and Zoe. But instead of revenge or vendettas, Dane is instead needing her help, as he is being tormented by his own ghostly problem. And that is where we get into a new kind of spectral foe: parasitic ghosts that haunt people, not places. I love that Keira is finding new kinds of ghosts and the challenges that their differences present, and there are definitely descriptions and beats here that show how Coates, while doing a bit of a horror lite cozy ghost story with this series, knows how to conjure up some straight up nightmare fuel. And along with the not so friendly spirits, we still get to see the kinder and gentler spirits that Keira sees while in the cemetery, a few of them giving me moments of pure joy as I was reading (and also a moment or two of tears).

And the characters are still very engaging and interesting, and have really grown into their own and beyond their baseline impressions. I still really like Keira and her drive to help ghosts and those that are affected by them, and I like that we are starting to see more insight into the life that she cannot remember. Coates has introduced the mysterious corporation Artec, the group that Keira has been hiding from though she has no memories as to why, and I love that we get a little bit of corporate conspiracy and corruption on top of the supernatural themes. We still don’t REALLY know what the full endgame is for Artec and Keira’s full connection, but Coates has drawn out the suspense without falling into any frustrating traps of milking it too much. We also get to learn more about Mason’s past, and get to go a bit more into his secretive reasons for leaving medical school and coming back to Blighty. And then there’s Zoe, who has gone from making me a little nervous with her conspiracy peddling to being pretty darn endearing and fun without getting into ludicrous ‘quirky girl’ territory. Coates knows how to keep these characters fresh and keeps exploring their potential, and I really like their dynamic.

“The Twisted Dead” is the strongest entry in the “Gravekeeper” Series thus far. And now I am at the point where I have to wait to see what happens next. I can hardly wait.

And now the most exciting part! I’m giving away all three of the “Gravekeeper” Series books I’ve read and reviewed! So you can win not only “The Twisted Dead”, but also “The Whispering Dead” and “The Ravenous Dead”! The giveaway is open to U.S. residents only, and runs through April 19th, 2023

Enter Here To Win!

Rating 8: With lots of things coming to light and a group of characters who are fully realized and comfortable in their characterizations, “The Twisted Dead” is the strongest “Gravekeeper” book yet!

Reader’s Advisory:

“The Twisted Dead” is included on the Goodreads list “Horror to Look Forward to in 2023”.

Previously Reviewed:

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