Dead Eleven by Jimmy Juliano
Updated: Sep 14
Dead Eleven by Jimmy Juliano (Copyright, 2023). Reviewed by Rhonda Alllen. I am a fan of well written horror fiction, but lately such fiction has been few and far between. Lately horror fiction seems to depend on how much gore and bloodshed they can spatter their pages with. That’s what I expected from this book, but I was so wrong. The writing remindings me more of Shirley Jackson, early Stephen King, and Peter Straub. Willow Stone is a grieving mother, her son having been killed in a car accident several years before. She has not been able to move on even a little, obsessively keeping his room the same as he left it even to rumpling the bed clothes as if he had just gotten out of bed. One day she spies writing on the floor of his room saying only “Clifford Island” and becomes convinced he as somehow left a clue for her. Her husband cannot see the writing and her obsessive grief has caused a rift between them. In the end she locates Clifford Island off the coast of Wisconsin in Lake Michigan and heads there hoping to find her son or some clue about him. Willow disappears after almost 2 months and her brother takes up the search for her by traveling to Clifford Island himself. He believes that she is still alive somewhere and starts investigating the strange community on the island which seems locked in the 1990’s to the extent of watching a VHS recording of the O J Simpson chase every evening. This is something that was playing on the TV when a tragic event happened and 11 children and a minister just disappeared. What the reader learns from various articles, journals, and even letters written by Willow to her husband but were never sent and her brothers writings, leads to a mounting sense of dread and horror. I was literally enthralled from the first page to the last with no dragging in between. This is an A++ book I’m sure you will enjoy reading! Dead Eleven is 448 pages long and published by Dutton.