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The Dead Game

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Linda moves to a seaside town to live a quiet life. She opens a bookstore and makes new friends. Life is simple--that is until the dead body washes up on shore. Linda is horrified to find that dead bodies and disappearing tourists are common for this small town. As soon as the sun sets, the residents and tourists are stalked by dark shadows. But this is only the beginning.

Linda and her friends receive an unsigned invitation to a party at a deserted house. They are pursued through revolving rooms and dangerous traps, barely escaping with their lives. Two of their own remain trapped in the house. Or so they think.

They must embark on a difficult journey, chased by unnatural creatures, not knowing whom to trust, to uncover the one controlling the game and everyone in town. Who are The Dead? Are they humans or vampires? Or a combination of both? Will there be an end to their evil game? Will Linda and Todd find love? Will a second book be needed?

The Dead Game has begun.

320 pages, Paperback

First published August 28, 2013

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About the author

Susanne Leist

4 books570 followers
Hello. My name is Susanne Leist.

A career in writing has been an enormous leap for me. Accustomed to the number-crunching field of budgeting and the hectic commodity markets, I left my first career and M.B.A. in Finance behind to pursue my dream. However, I do not regret my foray into literature for one moment. I write every day and have even tried my hand at poetry. So don’t let anyone tell you it’s too late in life to try something different. It is never too late to follow your heart.

THE DEAD GAME SERIES brings fantasy and surrealism to the classic murder mystery with dead bodies, suspects, and clues. In addition, it offers vampires and a touch of romance to spice the motley mix.

MEET ME IN MAINE, the first book in THE BLUE HARBOR SERIES, provides the backdrop for murder, mystery, and romance in a seaside town. Love falters and flourishes as the residents fight the persistent evil plaguing their small-town lives.

Sit back, put up your feet, and let me bring mystery and romance to your lives.

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5 stars
132 (51%)
4 stars
62 (24%)
3 stars
31 (12%)
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20 (7%)
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11 (4%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 186 reviews
Profile Image for S.M. Yair-Levy.
Author 3 books71 followers
May 4, 2015
A fast-paced, epic read! I'm already a sucker for a good horror novel but add in mystery and paranormal with a touch of romance, like this book does, and you've basically found my happy place. The Dead Game by Susanne Leist is a novel that will grip you from the very beginning, with good twists and turns that'll keep you guessing all the way until the end. Can't wait to read more from this author!
Profile Image for Angel.
Author 2 books869 followers
February 4, 2017
Usually I don't like vampire stories, they're trite and Susanne Leist's "The Dead Game" is like a scavenger hunt with a twist of the board game "Clue". Every character is like a chess piece and just when you think you've got checkmate, you realize the game isn't over yet. Leist has added a refreshing twist with this with a lot of plot twists which prolongs the suspense aspect which keeps the intrigue intense. It's like Hollywood story meets "The Munsters." Starting with the haunted house deliberately leads the reader into a Pandora's Box creating a paradoxical effect that is most imaginative and rare. Very creative!
Profile Image for Marie.
933 reviews233 followers
August 31, 2017
This book starts out pretty quick and it took me for a ride into the town of Oasis, Florida, where a woman arrives as a new resident and opens up a bookstore. There is a mystery in Oasis and something stalks the streets. Residents of the town have gone missing for years and no one seems to know what has happened to them. There is also some mystery surrounding a house called "End House", which the locals think is haunted.

Everything is fine and dandy in the daytime, but when the sun goes down, it is a whole different story. The woman and her friends go to a party at End House and that is when all hell breaks loose. Very atmospheric and gripping. The more I became involved with the story, the faster I started reading it to see where this book was going to take me. So what is stalking the streets of Oasis, you ask, well you will just have to read the book to find out. Four stars on this one.
Profile Image for Amber.
992 reviews
January 29, 2015
I received a free copy in exchange for an honest review.

When Ms. Susanne Leist approached me about reading and reviewing her Supernatural mystery novel The Dead Game, I decided to check it out and received a free ebook copy of the novel in exchange for an honest review. I was not disappointed! For a debut novel, Ms. Leist did an incredible job telling the story of a small coastal town in Florida called Oasis and the dark secrets surrounding it.

Tourists go missing and dark shadows lurk the town of Oasis at night. When five friends get invited to a mysterious party at End house, a haunted house that lies deserted at the top of the mountain past town, they accept the invite not knowing the dangers that lurk within. Attending the party, they run for their lives to get out as deadly traps await them. Most of them make it out alive but two remain in the house or so they think. With bodies drained of blood lying on the beach near End house, can they find their friends and solve the mystery of who or what tried to kill them before they become the next victims and are silenced forever in the dead game? Read the book to find out.

This was a pretty good read. Be sure to check this book out. I reccomend this book to anyone who enjoys mysteries and supernatural horror novels. It is available at Amazon and Barnes & Noble. I give this book 5 stars for original storyline, a great variety of characters, and for holding me onto the edge of my seat until the very end.
Profile Image for Dianne.
6,766 reviews589 followers
December 24, 2013

AmazonBarnes & Noble

Doesn’t the name Oasis sound like an idyllic place to live? The perfect calm and relaxing place to settle down, Oasis has small town charm, small town neighbors, and even a mysterious and foreboding house about which horror stories are told, oh and bodies are being found, drained of blood. Who or what would drain the blood of its victims? What is the dark secret surrounding the town and its inhabitants? A newcomer to Oasis, Linda can’t help but get involved, especially after a harrowing experience at the End House. Is there a serial murderer going around acting out a vampire fantasy? Is it possible vampires are real? Are there good vamps and bad vamps? From the day Linda entered Oasis, her life was set on a path she could never have imagined, and her boyfriend just may be part of the nightmare she is now living.

The Dead Game by debut author Susanne Leist makes a bold statement by crossing the genre lines, serving up one scoop mystery, one scoop romance and topping it off with a dollop of dark paranormal fantasy. Have you ever been somewhere, listening to someone drone on, while carrying on your own mental conversation, full of snark and attitude? There is lots of that going, lightening those dark moments with a little quirky humor. The main character, Linda is inquisitive to the point of putting herself in danger, as well as her friends who are all on board for playing paranormal super sleuths. They form a rag-tag band of amateur P.I.s playing cat and mouse with some serious evil that has been hiding out in town, waiting to make their play for power and control.

The attention to detail is very strong, from the settings to the characters themselves, mental images are easy to conjure, as well as the actions each character is making. While it doesn’t slow the story down, (which by the way is twisting and convoluted right up to that last page), it does require paying attention, as does the dialogue, which at times seemed too calm and intelligent when I would have been a babbling fool!

Publication Date: August 29, 2013
Publisher: Outskirts Press, Inc
ISBN: 1478704489
Genre: Adult Paranormal Mystery
Number of Pages: 325
Available from: AmazonBarnes & Noble

Profile Image for Jim Goforth.
Author 67 books193 followers
May 29, 2014
Some books take an eternity to get things kick-started, using slow burn tactics to ramp up suspense or develop storylines, some almost to the point where you almost feel like giving up on them with the thought the ultimate payoff is never going to culminate.
Susanne Leist’s debut opus ‘The Dead Game’ is not one of those books.
From the very moment it gets underway, starting off with a sinister, tempestuous and enthralling prologue section which takes place five years prior to the main story, it launches directly into chills and thrills and lays out a wonderfully dark and engaging foundation on which to build all ensuing events.
After these cataclysmic events in the residence known as End House in the seemingly idyllic Florida town of Oasis, the story now begins in earnest from present day revolving around chief character Linda Barnett who has relocated to this very town in a bid to discover a simple, peaceful existence.
For a while, that is exactly what she finds in this apparently ideally named township, but that is all going to change and soon enough it does, with Oasis becoming plagued by a host of strange and mysterious occurrences, deaths that occur once the sun goes down.
The mysterious invitations to a party hosted by unknown persons, received by Linda and her bunch of compatriots are the spurring agent to initiate events where the worried townsfolk embark on a nightmarish expedition to uncover the dark secrets lurking behind the perfect innocuous facade of oasis.
Leist is a great natural storyteller and she exhibits her skills here, weaving a cornucopia of elements into the fabric of the tale, developing a cast of intriguing characters who engage the reader and draw them into their various stories and agendas.
This is a supernatural thriller, predominantly involving things of a vampiric nature, but it is far from your standard generic vampire by the numbers piece, it is skilfully crafted to involve romantic overtures along with lashings of action and loads of building suspense, as well as some atmospheric horror, all neatly balanced without sacrificing any of the components.
Rolling along with a suitable undercurrent of menace and portentous threat, The Dead Game keeps things interesting with a host of plot shifts and moments to maintain a strong desire to continue reading and become absorbed in the frightening secrets engulfing those who dwell in Oasis.
For the most part, the characters are extremely well fleshed out, in particular those in main roles such as pivotal soul Linda herself as well as the mysterious and wealthy Todd, the vivacious Shana Logan and the others in the core group of friends, and the author ensures we care about what happens to these folk, though having the knowledge that not all is right at End House means we’re helpless to warn them against having anything to do with it.
Susanne Leist has constructed a thoroughly engrossing debut novel here and those who enjoy atmospheric supernatural thrillers with a taut and deftly written story will find plenty to captivate them here.
Profile Image for Trang Tran .
279 reviews143 followers
November 26, 2015
Wow this novel is so precious ! It introduces us to a little town Oasis where tourists disappear without a trace, murders here and there but the local police always trying to hide them. Linda and her friends got invited to a mysterious party in the End House and that's the beginning of their adventures. Everything I love about a book is in here. The storyline is beyond perfect , with a chess game vibe where everyone is pawn and the reader has no idea what is going on so we are living the game with them. Hellooo, plot twists! Especially the romance plot. Didn't see it happen at all. Mystery,thriller and action, I'm sure any young adult reader will love this one :)!

Thank you to the author for giving me a free copy in exchange for an honest review.

Trang-Book Blogger
Profile Image for Stuart Keane.
Author 68 books146 followers
June 8, 2014
The beauty of the horror genre is variety. With so many sub-genres, you can always find something to read, something to take your fancy. Be it serial killers, ghosts, haunted houses, thrillers...you get the point. From a personal perspective, I love stories about 'small towns'. That's right, when a group of characters go to a town and discover all manners of evil lurking within. It's one sub-genre I think speaks to everyone in some way. All the masters of horror have done it. King did it was It, Laymon with Funland, Herbert with The Fog. For me, it's the type of tale I can read multiple times.

The Dead Game was a surprise to me. Initially, the cover didn't give much away. It's been mentioned in several reviews, but this book throws you straight into the story. True, it develops the characters a little before unleashing the town's horrors on them - something we know is inevitable - but for some reason, it doesn't feel rushed or forced. There's no loitering, The Dead Game wants our attention from the start and garners it with crisp dialogue and excellent character development. When the characters receive their invite to the game of the title...you can feel the hairs standing on end. Invited to an isolated house on the hill? Yep, we all love a story that does this.

A supernatural thriller needs characters to push it along. The Dead Game has that in abundance. The characters are intriguing, realistic and very normal considering the chills on display. We feel for them and when the town starts to unleash unknown terrors, you can't help but get swept away by the story and feel like you're living the horror with them. This along with the pacing, frantic but never overbearing, and a simple premise that's heightened by some excellent storytelling, makes for a gripping read, one that will keep your attention throughout.

5* - Totally. I don't want to give too much away - this book deserves to be read blind - but this novel has something for everyone. For horror fans, there's plenty to keep you busy and for non-horror, well, it contains a bit of something for you too. A chilling tale of things that go bump in the night, and day, and will keep you thoroughly entertained. Great stuff!

Profile Image for sam.
364 reviews84 followers
August 4, 2014
I received a free copy from the author in exchange for an honest review.

The Dead Game isn't usually the type of novel that I go for, but I'm trying to read more of a variety. I was excited to read something a little outside my comfort zone, but I was a little disappointed.

The beginning was pretty slow and there were so many characters introduced that I couldn't keep them straight. They didn't really have anything unique about them because they were all beautiful, lived in the same building and owned their own stores on the same street and those were just the main characters. By the end of the book, the entire town was introduced. The relationships didn't feel authentic to me either. The one thing that bothers me the most is that one of the characters explicitly states that they have never had a conversation with their 'love interest' but they were obsessed with each other! The dialogue itself was weird as well. These are kids right out of college, but everything they said was incredibly formal.

The plot for the story had definite potential, but to me it felt like I was being told things versus being shown them. I was intrigued by all of the supernatural beings and their history, but I was a little let down by their actions. Whenever there was conflict, things seemed to be too easily solved.

I went into this book thinking it was going to be action driven, but it wasn't. Like I said, this book has a lot of potential and if there were a few less characters (or more unique characters) and more showing versus telling then I think it could have been great.
Profile Image for T.B. Markinson.
Author 57 books810 followers
February 19, 2015
THE DEAD GAME by Susanne Leist is full of so many twists and turns, one may forget where the story began. Her creativity and imagination went wild, making for an entertaining read. She has cleverly mixed romance, mystery, horror, and paranormal fantasy. And her twist to vampires was interesting. Leist is great with describing scenes, placing the reader right into the pages.

What I struggled with was all the characters and the switching points of view, especially in the beginning. It was hard to remember who was who and why they mattered. Maybe if she developed them more it would have been easier. It’s hard to keep up when the author head hops frequently.

I do have to say for a debut novel she made quite the impression. Leist has quite the imagination and she isn’t afraid to show it. And I believe with time she’ll nail the character aspect. She’s definitely an author to keep an eye on. This would appeal to those who love vampire stories with a twist.
Profile Image for Peter.
373 reviews20 followers
June 8, 2015
Linda moves to the town of Oasis, Florida to open a bookstore. This was a strange little town with tourists disappearing and bodies being wash up on shore. Linda and her friends receive an unsigned invitation to a party at the End House. The End house has been desert for many years and is said to be haunted. Linda and her friends attend the so called party but they were the only ones there. Linda and the gang barely escape with their life's. Two of the invited guess are trapped somewhere in the house. Strange dark shadows lurk in Oasis after dark. This story is about good and evil vampires fighting over whether to live in peace with the humans or destroy them. The main characters is this story are well developed and this adds to the strength of the storyline. This is the first book that I have read by Susanne Leist. I plan on checking out another works by this author.. I recommend this book!
Profile Image for Angel Sefer.
Author 22 books493 followers
December 17, 2015
If you like action-packed, heart-stopping thrillers blended with supernatural elements, then, this is the book for you. The author’s vivid imagination and her captivating way of narrating this unique story kept me reading way into the night—of course, with the lights on and ready to flee in case someone or…something jumped out of the pages like those creatures in the book, jumping out of the walls at End House.
I liked Linda Bennett, the heroine, and I’m in love with Todd, the hero. He has almost replaced Ian Somerhalder from The Vampire Diaries in my heart.
And what can I say about the ending? Wow!
I think this book would make a great movie.
Profile Image for Pattimari.
Author 40 books37 followers
November 30, 2014
This book is a book you won't want to miss. It has thrilling scenes in it and the storyline is absolutely exciting. Susanne really put some time and effort into this book and it shows. I won't go into the storyline because I wouldn't want to ruin it for you. I rated it a five star because it is a well written book and a fun read.
Pattimari Sheets Cacciolfi, Therapist, Author and owner of PnPAuthors
Profile Image for James McCormick.
Author 15 books64 followers
March 14, 2015
“Beneath the pretty field of flowers growing on End House property, exists an evil so great and powerful that even the elders can’t fight it on their own.” Who are the elders? What is The Dead Game, what is the relationship between the wicked vampires, good vampires, human vampires and what role do spells and magic play in Susanne Leist’s hugely enjoyable horror novel? If you want to learn the answers then you’ll need to read The Dead Game, and if you enjoy this type of fiction then I strongly suggest you do.

The author wastes no time laying out her literary stall. After a gripping prologue replete with bloody tentacles and a swirling vortex Leist ends her introduction with, “No sounds or voices were heard again. End House remained empty until the party five years later that awoke the house to the possibility of new victims.” I especially enjoyed the prologue as I’m not a big fan of the slow burn or the slow build. When chapter 1 begins with descriptions of the quaint shops, pristine white sand beaches, tree lined walkways and grassy town parks of the picturesque town of Oasis we know that this tranquillity is illusory, ephemeral at best. When Linda and the others receive invitations to End House the sense of suspense quickly grows and it isn’t long before we’re plunged into supernatural horror once more.
Some books you can’t help but imagine as films and for me, The Dead Game is one of these. I could easily see myself watching something like this on the horror channel or a Fright Night special. The characters are well drawn as are the interactions and interpersonal conflicts but in essence it is the narrative, the “game” itself which drives the tale as the victims wonder if their fate is to “all die in this house, one by one.”

On the whole the novel pretty much played out as I expected and the diabolical vampire, Wolf, was very much part of this. Even the little surprise right at the end wasn’t such a surprise. Yet for me at least, this is not to the work’s detriment. The Dead Game is extremely well written with vivid (often extremely vivid) descriptions, the premise is strong, the central characters well drawn and the actions and reveals continue to build throughout.

If I had one criticism it is that of the narrative layering. Linda is the main protagonist and as such needs to be the focus a little more in the story. It is through the central character after all that the reader best experiences the roller coaster of emotions, especially fear and hope, of a horror novel. Although a fan of James Herbert this is an aspect that I never enjoyed of the late British horror writer’s work.

Notwithstanding this minor quibble, if you like this type of fiction then you will love Dead Game. I certainly did.

Profile Image for D.L. Finn.
Author 16 books281 followers
August 26, 2020
I have read the first two books in the Dead Games Series and was eager to continue the story. “Dead at Heart” takes off with plenty of action where two ended. Shana is involved with a powerful vampire William but doesn’t completely trust him. I enjoyed the relationship between Linda, her best friend, and another powerful vampire, Gregg. But what kept this a page-turning book was the battle not only in the vampire community but also in Shana’s heart. While she loves William, she appears to have feelings for the sheriff Sam still. That sets up for an intriguing love triangle. I wasn’t sure who Shana would end up with until it happened. I love the friendship between the women and how they have each other’s backs no matter what. The undercurrent in the vampire community made me wonder who the good side was and kept me guessing until the end. I walked the streets of Quebec with the characters and now have added it to a place I’d like to see. Plus, I became of fan of the other entities that showed up. This is an exciting addition to the series, with a satisfying conclusion. If you enjoy vampire books with some romance mixed in, this is for you.
Profile Image for Louise White.
Author 6 books340 followers
April 14, 2014
Susanne Leist does a wonderful job of setting her debut novel The Dead Game, in the sweet seaside town of Oasis, a place where one would never expect evil to lurk.
At the beginning of the book we are dropped into a historical piece showcasing the gruesome capabilities of End house, this sets the novel up nicely for our introduction to recent times.
Oasis is a town which should require little by way of regular law enforcement, but it has suffered a disturbing history of disappearances and unexplained phenomena that have been covered up. Interestingly, the sheriff deputy has a habit of sneaking away when there's work to be done!
The story progresses to tell us a bit about Linda and her perception of the town and its residents. A sense of menace builds quickly and there are surprises to be had when she and her friends accept an invite to a party at End house (unbeknown to them as the locus of the original horrors) A property in which everything defies the natural laws, the friends are subjected to a host of horrors that they try to attribute to mere ghoulish humour on behalf of their host. Vampire, Wolf, sets his eyes on the prize, (Not world peace!) and progressively works his evil machinations against the young people.
In Leist's town we find that humans, vampires and vampire humans have come to coexist.
This is a book where the characters have more guts than sense! and in true horror fashion I read this book on the edge of my seat, willing and hoping for them to seal their fate by disregarding the warnings and jumping into the crises that could have been avoided. I was not disappointed!
Among the horrors, Leis introduces black magic and hallucinogenic apparitions; the walls bleed and pointy cages drop to trap the partygoers, and many other horrors follow. I loved how Linda and Todd's romance blossomed through the midst of it, and how Todd's true nature is hinted at throughout before being revealed.
There are many characters in Leist's horror, and though I could have happily strangled some of them, (Par for the course) I was kept involved in true morbid fascination. I must confess that evil vampire, Wolf was my favourite character in this book, and I was entertained throughout.
This is a must read for horror lovers.
Profile Image for Robin Morgan.
Author 5 books281 followers
August 19, 2015
I received a KINDLE Edition of this book from the author through a giveaway on FaceBook and the following is my honest opinion.

Being a child of the 1950’s as I read this book I heard the song “Behind the Green Door” playing in the back of my mind.

The specific lines from this song I heard I felt related to this stiry are:
Midnight one more night without sleepin' -
Watchin' till the morning comes creepin'.
Green door what's that secret you're keepin'?

Wish they'd let me in
So I could find out
What's behind the green door.

Door slammed hospitality's thin there.
Wonder just what's goin' on in there.

Saw an eyeball peepin' through a smokey cloud
Behind the green door.

In “The Dead Game” Susanne Leist has crafted a wondrous conglomeration of genres to create a story which is sure to please the widest audience possible; with elements of mystery, vampires, murder, intrigue and romance how can you go wrong?

If you can remember all of the haunted houses you’ve gone through for Halloween with all the twists and turns you had to go before you reached the exit, then you’ll understand what Linda and her friends went through after they’d entered the old abandoned mansion known as “End House.” The only difference is the ones you went through had been in fun, but theirs had been real.

Just as the characters had to walk a twisting, turning path within the mansion; so does the storyline twist and turn unexpectedly; making for a page turning reading experience that you don’t want to put the book down.

The juxtaposition which exists between the outward appearance of the ocean-side town of Oasis, Florida and everything else there; especially the secrets everyone apparently has, makes for the perfect backdrop for the mansion itself.

It’s therefore not surprising I’m giving Ms. Leist 5 STARS for her endeavor here.
Profile Image for Hock Tjoa.
Author 8 books89 followers
November 21, 2014
In an idyllic small town, meaningfully named Oasis, on the coast of Florida, there is a house--End House. The house "resembled all the scary houses in her imagination ... and in every Gothic novel she'd ever read." To this reviewer the whole novel proceeds exactly as the author (through her character) had predicted.

The cliches extend to the characters; many of the men appear like greek gods, like Zeus (Greek) and Hercules (Latin form of Herakles). The leader in particular looked "older and wiser" with eyes that "reflected a deeper wisdom with a pinch of disillusionment and sadness."

After the harrowing experience of a party at End House, the loose band of characters--as one of the characters sighed, "there are too many players in this game"--continue as if the near death experience they had just shared never happened and they persist in their search for "answers."

Further, there are characters/sequences that seem fractured; one is described as "chipper" then "annoyed" but winds up planning a barbecue--all in the same scene. A female character reacts to a male character's "quiet remarks" by turning "livid at his orders." After one character "asks quietly without looking directly [at another character], what he knew about the disappearances" the latter reacts "startled by the unexpectedly harsh question."

In all of this confusing situations/dialogue, there is a fascinating imagination at work, an interesting vision; there are many kinds of vampires, it would appear, and there is conflict among them. The humans are caught up in this and Oasis seems to be the location for the next round.

But the mix of characters and events remains too lumpy.
Profile Image for Elle Klass.
Author 42 books167 followers
July 29, 2014
Susanne Leist debut novel The Dead Game is a gripping, terror filled read from the opening! Linda moves to the small, quaint ocean front town Oasis located along Northern Florida’s coastline. She paints a picturesque scene reminding me of Neptune Beach or any beach further North, I’m a North Florida resident, with the exception of the hill but it’s a book and anything can happen and in this fabulous read it does. As breathtaking as Oasis is the town is full of evil. Protagonist Linda opens a small bookstore and makes friends with all the other young adults in town. There is a distinct separation between the young and the older residents who live on the hill and have creepy green windows. All the young townsfolk are invited to a party at End House, the ultra creepy house at the end of the hill. The spooky fun and games begin here.

The Dead Game is filled with nonstop surprises that kept my toes curled. When I thought they had solved and ended one dilemma another popped up. Deadly twists and turns wreak havoc on the residents of Oasis as supernatural creatures play horrifying games. Did I mention the vampires? I love supernatural reads and don’t want to read something that’s been done before. Susanne’s take on vampires is fresh and new but you’ll have to read to know. She takes the age old vampire legend and turns it into something I’ve never read before piquing my intrigue. I don’t believe in giving away spoilers but I will say this novel is left with a cliffhanger that has me hungering for a sequel.

Absolutely addicting!
Profile Image for Irma Fritz.
Author 19 books19 followers
November 23, 2013
“The Dead Game” is S-P-O-O-K-Y!

When Linda receives an invitation to an evening of intrigue and mystery at End House, an unoccupied mansion in the small coastal town of Oasis, she’s enthralled. . . and puzzled. “Just bring yourself,” the unsigned invitation states. Who else would she bring if not herself? And who is the new owner and nameless host of the place? Still, she wouldn’t miss this party for the world. Especially once she finds out that her friends, Mike and David, as well as many other young people in town are going. After all, what else is there to do in boring Oasis?

As dead bodies wash up on the beach, tourists go missing, and dark shadows are seen roaming the streets at night, intrigue and mystery no longer seem like such a fun game. And End House, the run-down mansion left to decay slowly into the ocean, is no longer the town eyesore but a frightful character of its own in Susanne Leist’s novel “The Dead Game.”

“The Dead Game” is one S-P-O-O-K-Y vampire mystery romance! No wonder it’s in the top 100 Amazon bestsellers in the vampire category.
Profile Image for Simon Okill.
Author 13 books294 followers
October 24, 2014
The Dead Game by Susanne Leist is a top-notch haunted house horror thriller. The author excels at spooky descriptions, terrifying scenarios like opening a door and stepping into a black abyss or forever trapped in a dark maze with endless rooms stretching into infinity. Her characters are perfect and the reader can easily connect with them.
Linda moves to the perfect seaside town to open up a book store. But soon strange things happen that peaks her interest in the old house on the hill. She and her friends receive an invitation to a party at the house. This screams DON'T GO - but her inquisitive nature wins over.
Here the author ramps up the action full of terrifying games that defy the imagination as the house wants to play. This reader had nightmares after this book and even so, needs to know what the house owner has to offer with further games of the dead.
This is a truly scary read for Halloween and is suitable for 13+ and adults.
FIVE STARS for this haunted house horror and highly recommended.
Profile Image for Konn Lavery.
Author 19 books145 followers
March 25, 2015
Susanne Leist’s The Dead Game had my reading intently and wide eyed, often forgetting to blink due to the eagerness to find out what happens next. The plot keeps you involved with each character as they all had a key role to play in the story. It is unnerving, mysterious yet still shares the perspective of multiple characters to give you an understanding of their point of views, even though Linda and Todd are the primary focus.

Susanne puts a creative spin on vampires which gave the book a refreshing aspect to the supernatural/dark fantasy genre. I particularly enjoyed the setting of the small town, providing an eerie vibe throughout the story while keeping a fine balance of fright, action and romance. The range of genres intertwined the book is well woven, keeping the story arch at a good pace and easy to follow.

I would recommend anyone that is a fan of paranormal romances / dark fantasy novels to pick up a copy of Susanne Leist’s debut novel, The Dead Game, and get lost in this mysterious horror novel.
Profile Image for Abby Vandiver.
Author 35 books269 followers
February 8, 2014
This is a different kind of vampire story and that's what makes it good.

Told from several points of view, we get an inside look at what should be a quiet, sleepy oceanfront city that has turned sinister. There's volleyball on the beach and a main street USA with shops, and bookstores. But, at night, it's a completely different place as shadows and missing people add to the suspense of this tale. Unknowing shopowners decide to take it upon themselves to find out what is happening in their town and that's when the scary stuff starts to happen.

Leist has done a very good job in crafting an original vampire tale. The story is well-written and keeps you turning the page, and just when the reader thinks all is well, she throws in another twist.

I highly recommend this novel to everyone. Don't be deterred thinking it's just another vampire tale, because it is so much more than that.
Profile Image for Daniel Pearson.
Author 1 book18 followers
February 28, 2014
An excellent read., February 20, 2014
By Daniel Sinclair Pearson - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Dead Game (Paperback)
Just finished reading The Dead Game by Susanne Leist. I'm in awe of the author's imagination. This strange paranormal novel with its fascinating story and complex plot is a real page turner. There are lots of twists and turns and interesting characters in the story. Blood/gore and pure evil seeps through every single page. If you like reading paranormal/horror stories on steroids with a large serving of romance then you'll really love this book. It could easily be made into a movie or TV series. P.S. After reading this book, I'm avoiding small towns and cute villages that have shops with green tinted windows. Five stars.(less)
Profile Image for Mehtab Shams.
Author 1 book13 followers
September 24, 2015
The action begins as soon as you start to read this book. The setting is a tranquil town called Oasis which is subdued due to many strange and unexplained happenings. All is not what it seems as the story progresses and the secrets start to unfold. When a cryptic invitation to a spooky mansion goes out the mystery starts to unfurl – rapidly. I love female oriented books and in this one there are three! When friends start to go missing the girls discover that there is a reigning terror in the town. As Linda and her friends start to dig further the plot thickens.
I really enjoyed reading this book. It was gripping and truly entertaining. The twists and turns matched the pace of the book. The author has used her creative flair in an imaginative way. Well done!
Profile Image for Cherry London.
Author 1 book79 followers
May 29, 2018
A lotta weird crap happened to the previous homeowners at the End house yet no one in the town seemed worried that they just disappear in the middle of the night. They don’t seem to be disturbed by the ferocious and deadly shadows lurking about and scaring the crap out of the younger residents. I guess Linda and her friends didn’t watch much horror movies else they would have surely known that the town elderly residents coming out at night only, reeked of vampirism or Dracula whatever you called it. The storyline is a bit vague at times but it generated an equal amount of fear, skepticism, and intrigue that got me wondering back to the pages to see what happened next, it’s mildly captivating and interesting.
Profile Image for Chris Birdy.
Author 3 books334 followers
August 11, 2014
When Linda comes to Oasis, she believes she's fond the ideal town. It's quiet and charming - the perfect place to open a bookstore and make new friends. However, at night the residents are stalked by dark shadows, then dead bodies wash up on the shore and tourists disappear. Linda and her friends realize they must locate "The Dead" just about the time they are invited to End House. When they enter End House, Linda and her friends are trapped in a nightmare. This was one of the scariest books I ever read, and that includes Stephen King! If you're looking for a well-written book that will scare the hell out of you, try this one.
Profile Image for Eugene MacRae.
Author 32 books11 followers
March 27, 2014
Author Susanne Leist uses her words well and has written a story filled with the stuff that nightmares are made of. This isn't your typical mystery that starts slow and builds. Instead, it starts with a bang and a creepy house, careens through twists and turns filled with surprise and suspense and keeps you guessing right to the end. Reclusive town residents, dangerous individuals, strange figures in hooded cloaks, romance along with strange buildings and happenings that make you think you're on drugs...this story has it all. Highly recommended for those looking for a vampire mystery romance.
Profile Image for Lorine Thomas.
Author 2 books66 followers
April 28, 2015
As I am not a fan of vampire books (I can't stand any of those Twilight books or movies)I had to prepare myself to come out of my comfort zone. I am very happy that I did! I love the job that Ms. Leist uses to create her own world of vampires and rules, it reminded me a bit of The Passage. It was an easy read and I found myself constantly waiting to turn the page to see what happens next. I just didn't read before I went to bed, don't need those images or thoughts running through my head. Great Job!
Profile Image for Chariss Walker.
Author 78 books723 followers
June 8, 2018
This book caught me unawares. Kudos to Susan Leist. Her writing is very descriptive, both through color and light; she paints an elaborately woven, albeit horrifying picture of a group of unsuspecting friends caught-up in a maze of deceit, allure, and treachery. Yes, I knew it was a book about Vampires, and I normally love vampire stories, but I had no idea that it was also a chilling horror story. The twists and turns were similar to being in a funhouse, and not the amusement park variety. The Dead Games is definitely worth reading.
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