by Dale J. Young
The first several chapters of "Stillborn" by Dale J. Young describe a road trip through the Carolina swamps by newlyweds Paul and JoAnna Stedford who are headed to the Outerbanks of North Carolina for a week-long honeymoon in a rented house. The swamp trip eerily sets the mood for what is to come when the young couple returns to Charleston, South Carolina, to begin their lives together.
Both have just graduated from the University of South Carolina. Paul is set to begin a job at as a mechanical engineer at a pump manufacturing company in Charleston, and JoAnna is about to begin a teaching career.
I enjoy books which get my heart pumping, but I am not a great fan of books which put me on edge and make my hair stand up. "Stillborn" is very much in the horror/thriller genre with a heavy dose of sex added. I've read only a couple of Stephen King books, which are not my cup of tea, and I think fans of Mr. King would love this book.
Like Stephen King books, "Stillborn" is extremely well-written with interesting and well-developed characters. It was the writing which carried me through this book, the first in the Summerland Trilogy. Summerland is mentioned once in the novel. On their honeymoon, Paul and JoAnna come upon a road which leads to Summerland, a town or maybe an amusement park, but they can't go down the road. Their car won't let them.
Because of the way "Stillborn" ends and because of the mystery surrounding Summerland, I got sucked into this whole horror mess. So now, I have to know what happens next and the ultimate conclusion to this story. I hate it when writers do this stuff to me. The second book in the trilogy, "Wicked Izzy," is set in North Carolina. Wouldn't you just know it? North Carolina is the only state for which I still needed a book!
To be continued ...