The Thirteenth Child
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The Thirteenth Child

Published Date: October 5, 2012

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Little Megan Guthrie has vanished

Everything is the same. The sudden disappearance of a child, the strange scent that frightens the bloodhounds, the utter lack of evidence. Seven years before, Seth Busby had disappeared in exactly the same way, and was never seen again. Police Chief Nick Catesby can’t forgive himself for failing to find Seth, and it seems neither can the citizens of Wessex Township, New Jersey. This time, it could mean the end of Nick’s career.

Preston Howard claims he saw a strange, disfigured boy he dubbed Gabriel take Megan into the woods. Nick can’t believe the preposterous, drunken story, and suspects Preston may be the kidnapper. But if Nick arrests Preston, he risks losing his chance at happiness with Preston’s daughter, Fanny.

However, Gabriel, the terrifying boy-creature of the New Jersey Pine Barrens, isn’t a drunken hallucination. He is awake, hungry, and very real. Gabriel won’t be keeping to the forest paths, but is seeking his prey in the heart of Wessex Township itself. And this time, it isn’t just the children he’s thirsting for.


“With THE THIRTEENTH CHILD, David Dean has pulled off both the creation of a new kind of monster, and a fine and unnerving novel around that creation. Gabriel, the ancient, murderous creature at the book’s heart, is by turns frightening, pathetic, and genuinely otherworldly, and THE THIRTEENTH CHILD left me intrigued, moved, surprised, entertained and impressed.”
—Lisa Morton, four-time Bram Stoker Award-winning author of TRICK OR TREAT?: A HISTORY OF HALLOWEEN

“If you enjoy being scared to go to bed alone, this is your kind of read. With a well-written, well-paced, yet steadily climbing, plot, THE THIRTEENTH CHILD is a terrifying journey that will make the reader crazy with intrigue that turns to fear and then crashes into sheer horror at the end. It’s not the customary roller coaster ride mentioned in many reviews. Instead, it’s a fast uphill trip in a police cruiser.”
—Fran Rizer, SleuthSayers

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