by Karen Mandeville

January 2006
ISBN: 0-9748614-2-1
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One woman, three men, all of them fighting for her love.

Rebecca lives a simple life on the edge of the Dead Forest. Her mother died just a few hours after she was born. Her father provides her with all the love and care she needs. There is only one rule - never wander into the Dead Forest. Feeling that she needs to be around other children, he makes arrangements for her to play with some other girls in town. Through a serious of cruel events, Rebecca finds herself alone in front of the Dead Forest. A meeting with three beautiful women who live in there changes her life forever.

Lost in the Forest for days, Rachel emerges a different child. She can no longer speak, her voice lost due to the horrors she has experienced. Instead she spends her days painting, expressing her dreams, thoughts and nightmares in ink and on canvas. At night she dreams of a faceless man.

As the years pass three men enter her life - the mysterious Cedric, the dashing Johannes and the cold Rutherford. Each one of them fighting for her love. Only one of them can succeed, for Rebecca is tainted. Her destiny has already been decided.

The Dead Forest is a haunting and eerie novel. The reader is taken on a journey that is filled with all the things that go bump in the night - soulless creatures, witches, and shape shifters. It is refreshing to see a paranormal author writing such a dark book. There are also a great deal of twists and turns packed into the one hundred and ninety six pages!

Despite being an intriguing read, the romance did not appear in the book until quite late, even then it was only a few chapters long. More time was spent describing Rebecca’s life as a twelve-year-old child. I felt this slowed down the pace of the plot tremendously. While The Dead Forest is a compelling book, the ending leaves the reader with more questions than answers. I sincerely hope that Karen Mandeville continues this as a series and answers all those open-ended questions.

Reviewed in January 2006 by Donna.

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