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The Loveliest Dead

3.83  ·  Rating Details  ·  497 Ratings  ·  56 Reviews
To most people it s just a large house, old and a bit run-down. To the Kellar family it s a new start, a chance to wipe out the painful past and begin again. But soon it will become a living nightmare. The terrors begin before the Kellars have even finished unpacking. Who are the mysterious children playing on the rusty, vine-covered swing set in the backyard? Who is the f ...more
Mass Market Paperback, 372 pages
Published January 3rd 2006 by Leisure Books
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 2,036)
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Sep 29, 2014 Kimberly rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This supernatural story from Garton came as a complete surprise to me. It was much more "tame" than the books I've come to expect from him, and yet no less enjoyable. This was the perfect read for the beginning of Autumn.

The plot itself is pretty much your standard "haunted house" layout, yet Garton's story has a fresh, more "terrifying" appeal to it than the majority I have read. The Kellar family moves into this house (left to Jenna, the wife) by a father she never met. Having just lost their
Kelly Truelove
Apr 09, 2013 Kelly Truelove rated it really liked it
Shelves: haunted-house
We'll Leave the Light on for You...

I was really impressed with this book, on many levels. The paranormal spooks were definitely there, and anyone who has read my reviews knows I love a good ghost or haunted house story. Beyond those elements were characters that I really enjoyed reading about and a mystery at the heart of everything. The author deserves kudos for another achievement as well. All too often, I find myself turned off by an author who feels the need to overwhelm the reader with gore
Jan 15, 2016 Peter rated it really liked it
David and Jenna Kellar lost their youngest son Josh in a tragic death. It was time for David, Jenna and their oldest son Miles to make a fresh start. Jenna inherited a house from her father that she did not even know. The Kellar's had no idea about the background of this house. They were soon to find out that the house held many deep dark secrets. They also found out that they were not safe there.This a ghost tale that will keep you on the edge of your seat.
Rebecca McNutt
Jun 26, 2015 Rebecca McNutt rated it it was amazing
I think this is possibly one of the creepiest books I've ever read, it reminded me very much of the 2012 film Sinister and the author's writing would almost be nostalgic if it weren't for its horrific and eerie tones throughout.
Dierdra Byrd
I love ghost stories so I picked this book up. I was not disappointed in that choice and really enjoyed the book.
The Loveliest Dead is about a women who inherited a house from her father whom she has never met. The house ends up being haunted by small boys and a "fat man in a cowboy hat". A lot of the story was a bit to predictable for my likeing but the story flowed along well and there were times I found myself reading "just one more chapter" before bed.
There were parts that I did not care f
Sep 01, 2013 Kelly rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2013
Rating: 4.5 stars

This one was genuinely CREEEEEEPY! I love nothing more than a spooky ghost/haunted house story, and I always start getting in the mood for them around this time each year in anticipation of Halloween. Totally reminiscent of The Amityville Horror, which I've always loved. In addition to being downright chilling, the book had fantastic character development and a great sense of place. I would really love to see this turned into a series following the character of Lily (hint hint,
Aria Nicole
Jun 04, 2015 Aria Nicole rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Aria by: Terralyn
Where do I begin? This book is a roller coaster of emotions. It's highly gripping, suspenseful, and nail biting. Trigger warning for some parts of this book for Abuse, Child Abuse, and Rape.
That being said, this is one of the best books I have read in years. While sometimes it is a little bit of a repeating type, it holds strong and completely envelopes you in it's dark, sick claws. I highly recommend this book to anyone that enjoys horror, paranormal, or thrillers. It kept me on the edge of my
Jun 12, 2011 Regina rated it really liked it
I thought this was a really good book. I liked the way it spoofed Ed & Lorraine Warren. The author doesn't come right out and say that but their description and the work they've done sounds soooo much like them. This story was really eerie and I never wanted to put it down. When I did put it down it's all I could think about till I could pick it back up again. I was hooked. Really good easy read.
Niquole Abram
Jan 13, 2016 Niquole Abram rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I just finished this book early this morning and wow! I was on edge the whole time as the events unfolded, eager and tried to find out what happened next. I remember once upon a time when horror movies used to do the same thing... Who knew six little words could raise so much fear??

I got so frustrated with David's stubbornness throughout the book. I'm still trying to figure out how a person can have so much shit happen and still be so damn dense! Seriously, to have been POSSESSED by a sick, evi
Jan 14, 2008 H3yd00 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2006
Ray Garton is one of the best horror writers around. I have yet to be disappointed in anything of his. This was an atmospheric ghost story with a little bit of humor thrown in. (Obscure references to a famous, ahem, true ghost story for those who catch it...)
Jul 11, 2011 Kilgallen rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2011-reads, horror, ghost
I am always happy to read a ghost story and to read an excellent one is a real pleasure. The Loveliest Dead is certainly an excellent story. The references to child abuse were horrific but the revenge the boys had was sweet. Fantastic read!
Jan 09, 2016 Michael rated it it was amazing
I've never been so scared by a book before. Maybe once--Jay Anson's The Amityville Horror scarred me/molded me into the horror writer I am today. But Garton is simply masterful at weaving seductive prose into terrifying imagery. The level of suspense was delicious. The haunting was truly frightening. I like to read before bed, and this gave me nightmares. I am so thrilled I discovered this book--and this writer, who I just "never got around to reading". That's changed now. I'm going to devour ev ...more
William M.
Jun 28, 2011 William M. rated it liked it
Shelves: horror
2 and 1/2 stars

Ray Garton is usually known for his more adult, disturbing horror. The Loveliest Dead unfortunately, is like Ray Garton-lite, a PG-13 type ghost story that felt very familiar and run-of-the-mill. This has exactly what all the other supernatural novels have - mysteriously disappearing children, unexplained noises in an empty house, strange voices in the basement, and the always predictable chill that passes through the room. There were a few real moments of terror, but not enough
Apr 25, 2012 Donald rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: cemetery-dance, 2012
My copy is an advance uncorrected proof, part of the Cemetery Dance Early Readers Club 5.0

The Kellar family has a chance to start over when Jenna inherits her father's house. It seems like the perfect answer. But before they've even fully unpacked, things start going awry.

Tension builds as some kids are noticed playing on the vine covered swing set out back. Different family members see these kids and even hear them, but each feels afraid to admit what they have seen. Because what they have seen
Apr 14, 2011 Martha rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Fans of ghost stories
Shelves: horror
This is an excellent example of the modern ghost story. This book is easy to read, interesting, and even a bit scary!

Right from the start you feel kinship with the main couple, who lose a son, then the husband loses his job. The wife's father whom she never met leaves her his old house, and boom, you have the setup for a horror story.
Almost right away the family begins seeing ghostly children hanging around. Who are they? What happened to them? I kept thinking as I was reading that I'd rather c
Mike Kazmierczak
Jan 02, 2012 Mike Kazmierczak rated it really liked it
While I wouldn't really classify The Loveliest Dead as a light version of Ray Garton's writing, comparatively it would qualify as less hardcore than some of his other books like Live Girls and Night Life. And I'm referring to the material here, not his writing or style. The writing and character development is definitely Garton: strong, very good and enjoyable.

While trying to deal with the loss of their son, the Keller family moves to a new home. An old dilapidated house that has seen better day
Mar 14, 2015 RabbitReads rated it really liked it
Before reading this book I suggest reading another book of his called In A Dark Place. In a Dark Place isn't the most exciting read but you'll be greatfull when you've read that book and are reading, what one can assume are Garton's true feelings about the Bingham's aka the Warrens. I sat there reading, as the book discussed Joe Lockwood with a smile.
Putting all that aside The Loveliest Dead is a very entertaining read. I couldn't put the book down and found myself reading this book at the darn
Jun 11, 2015 Justin rated it really liked it
Shelves: horror
For a haunted house story, this was nothing new, and though some of it was cliché, it kept me entertained, and turning pages to the point I was tempted to devour this in one sitting. After the death of their son, Jenna Kellar and her family move to a house her father owned, but was a man she never knew. From there ghostly phenomenon make their presences known, and become malevolent. Meanwhile a psychic Lily with a reputation among cops, has visions of the Kellar house and she is driven to help t ...more
Stacy Kingsley
May 19, 2014 Stacy Kingsley rated it really liked it
If creepy pedophiles aren't your thing don't read this book. If you like books that involve creepy things and hauntings and revenge prefect for you. A family suffers a tragedy and moves into an inherited house to start over. What they don't know is that something else already lives there and it wants their wants him bad.

I enjoyed this book a lot, in fact I might have nightmares, and the only reason I'm not giving it 5 stars is because some things weren't explained. I'd like to have le
Alex Budris
Mar 02, 2015 Alex Budris rated it really liked it
Shelves: horror
I like Ray Garton. I'll read any of his books I get my hands on. His books are fun, well-plotted, sinister, gory (but not nasty or depraved), and fast-paced. But not really all that memorable. That is except for "Loveliest Dead." I enjoyed this book so much that after I finished the paperback I dished out the dough for the deluxe Cemetery Dance hardcover. This is one of those books that has heart. You get to know and connect with the characters, the atmosphere. You feel you are there with them, ...more
Sep 21, 2008 James rated it liked it
one of the more effectively creepy mass market horror paperbacks i've read in a while, if only at the beginning before it falls into the stephen king-trap of explaining too much, at which point it goes from effectively creepy to effectively disturbing, which just isn't as good in my eyes. add to that some awkward dialogue and awkward psychics (...guh...) that only serve to cheapen/cheesify the disturbing subject matter, and it knocks the book down a peg or two. this is really more of a 2.5 than ...more
Paul Phillips
Jan 30, 2016 Paul Phillips rated it really liked it
Ray Garton is quickly becoming one of my favourite writers. He has a very cinematic style, so that you can picture the events happening in your mind as you read them. While the plot, which concerns a family moving into a haunted house, isn't very original, it still manages to conjure up some genuinely spooky scenarios, such as ghostly children playing on a swing set and an evil presence visiting the room of the family's son.

There are elements of films such as "Poltergeist", "The Exorcist" and "S
Ariana Antonio
Oct 30, 2015 Ariana Antonio rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Pretty typical haunted house story but it was really well done. Interesting story, good characters (who were stupidly stubborn sometimes, but still well done), and absolutely terrifying at times. Could be a trigger for some, so maybe don't read if that would be an issue for you. I really liked the struggle of the main characters of, "I don't believe in this stuff but I can't explain what's happening" as I can really relate to that. Will definitely read more from this author!
Sep 06, 2014 Jessica rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm always in search of a great horror novel that chills me to the bone, makes me look over my shoulder and become paranoid over every sound in the house. Though this didn't scare me and didn't make me hang on to every word (took me a while to finish)I like the writing style. It has your typical ghost haunting incidents, which I like and I would recommend this to other ghost lovers. Definitely an author I will read more of.
Feb 14, 2010 Tammy rated it really liked it
Shelves: horror, purchased
This book scared me. Probably the best haunted house book I've read so far. Garton is awesome.
Miranda Frey-myers
Really wanted to love it

The last book by this author was excellent so I really wanted to enjoy this book as well. The idea was great and at first I couldn't put it down. Unfortunately it began to drag out for so long that I found myself counting the pages to see if it was almost finished.
Dec 31, 2015 Jennifer rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great Read!!

If you are a fan of any paranormal shows or movies you need to read this book! I couldn't put it down!! I am now going to buy the rest of the books by this author and slot myself out a day to read them!!
Roger Terry
Jun 07, 2015 Roger Terry rated it it was amazing
My first read by Ray Garton, and I understand now why he won the Grandmaster award for horror in 2006. Definitely gonna read more from him soon. If ever wanting to read a haunted house story, this is one that I highly recommend.
Aug 13, 2015 Jason rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Good Story

Ray Garton has surprised me again. This story captivated me from the start and had me until the end. Definitely worth the time to read if you're into a good ghost story.
Jun 09, 2015 Monica rated it it was amazing
I couldn't put this book down! I started it at 10pm and didn't finish until 6 am. I caught myself looking out the window a few times and jumping at the sounds of the house settling! It has just the right amount of creep factor - LOVED it!
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Ray Garton is the author of several books, including horror novels such as LIVE GIRLS (which has a movie in the works), CRUCIFAX, E4 AUTUMN, and THE FOLKS; thrillers like TRADE SECRETS and SHACKLED; and numerous short stories and novellas. He's also written a number of movie and television tie-ins for young readers. He lives with his wife, Dawn, in California.
More about Ray Garton...

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