Review

The Dead Room

by Heather Graham

Heather Graham is one of the more prolific authors toiling in
the word mills, and one of the very few who has matched her
prodigious quantity with quality. Her latest book, THE DEAD ROOM,
is an excellent example of this --- a supernatural work firmly
ensconced in a real world setting and tinged, though not
overwhelmed, with erotic overtones.


Graham does something very interesting here. Nearly the entire book
is set in lower Manhattan, although only a block or so of this
prestigious real estate is utilized in the telling. Yet, one never
feels claustrophobic while reading; it seems like a more expansive
tale. And indeed it is, moving from the present to the past as
archeologist Leslie MacIntyre uses her ability to communicate with
the dead as a vehicle toward uncovering burial grounds and
rectifying past injustices so that the dead may achieve the rest
they have sought for so long.


MacIntyre's "gift" was purchased with bitter coin; her unique
ability appears to be an unfortunate aftereffect of her own
near-death experience, one occasioned by an explosion that killed
Matt Connolly, her fiancé. Still recovering emotionally,
MacIntyre returns to Hastings House, the site of the explosion and
Connolly's death, both to obtain closure and to explore a newly
discovered burial ground nearby. Her return brings her into contact
not only with Connolly's restless spirit but also with Joe, his
cousin, for whom MacIntyre begins to feel the stirrings of
attraction.


However, MacIntyre's talents lead her into terrible danger. Her
discoveries at the gravesite and communications with the restless
spirits that inhabit Hastings House dovetail into the activities of
a serial killer who is targeting prostitutes in the area and is
believed to be involved in the disappearance of a social worker Joe
has been hired to find. It will take both men --- Joe in this world
and Matt from beyond the grave --- to keep MacIntyre safe from
harm. But even their combined efforts may not be enough.


Graham's narrative never lags for even a single paragraph, and her
setting --- downtown Manhattan and its lesser-known underground ---
is a fascinating and compelling one. The ending is a heart-stopping
surprise that her fan base and reading groups will be discussing
for months. THE DEAD ROOM demonstrates that Graham, even after
several years and dozens of books, is only getting started.


   









Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub on December 29, 2010

The Dead Room
by Heather Graham

  • Publication Date: April 1, 2007
  • Genres: Fiction, Thriller
  • Hardcover: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Mira
  • ISBN-10: 0778324303
  • ISBN-13: 9780778324300