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Dead Works

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A graduate psychology student must help a young client make sense of terrifying visions while acts of brutal evil threaten to destroy them both. Doctoral student, Eric Hansen is in the second year of his counseling psychology program. His first therapy client is thirteen-year-old, Greg who sees apparitions of children roaming outside his bedroom window. While Greg's father leans towards a paranormal explanation, his mother fears mental illness and brings him to the university clinic. Eric's efforts to help the boy stir up memories of his own traumatic past and both are drawn into a whirlpool of horror well beyond the reach of modern psychology.

144 pages, Paperback

First published September 1, 2014

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About the author

Anthony Hains

12 books70 followers
Anthony Hains is a professor emeritus of counseling psychology with a specialization in pediatric psychology. He retired in May 2018 after thirty-one years at the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee. He is the author of a number of horror novels including Nightshade’s Requiem, Sleep in the Dust of the Earth, and The Disembodied. Anthony lives with his wife in Whitefish Bay, Wisconsin. They have one daughter.

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5 stars
12 (31%)
4 stars
15 (39%)
3 stars
9 (23%)
2 stars
1 (2%)
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1 (2%)
Displaying 1 - 15 of 15 reviews
Profile Image for Peter Topside.
Author 3 books600 followers
January 24, 2023
3.5 stars for me. Before I get to the review, there is something very wrong with the file for the ebook. I have a brand new Kindle and every time I tried reading on there, it took 5 seconds to transition from one page to the next. And I had to restart it every 25-35 pages, as it kept stalling my device. It also claimed that it would take 70 hours to read this when I first opened it. The book is only 130 pages. I even tried every other Kindle book and they worked fine. So, again, there is something off with file, so reader beware. Now the story is very, very slow. It’s not a bad story and, maybe it’s because I’ve been married to a therapist for 12 years, but I thoroughly enjoyed how deep this went. How much Eric went through with his experience with Greg. The countertransference, digging up old personal traumas after the sessions, and his schooling process, where he was counseled by his classmates. That was a really great way to make this unique. But after the long journey of the issues with the ebook and the long-winded content, the story seemingly left off with a cliffhanger. Sometimes that works, but I felt this really needed something shocking or big to be a proper finale, and it just didn’t happen. It’s not bad, but it just needed something more to break up some of the monotony and slow pacing, with a much better climax.
Profile Image for Char .
1,597 reviews1,441 followers
September 3, 2014
3.5 stars!

Currently there is a giveaway going on at Horror After Dark for this book!

3 signed copies of Dead Works are up for grabs! Click below to enter:

Dead Works was a short novel of supernatural and and psychological horror.

Eric is a graduate psychology student jumping through the various hoops that such a doctor must, before becoming officially licensed. As such, he has his own clients to see, but he is required to periodically bring some of his cases before a group of other students and a supervisory psychologist. He chooses to bring two very strange cases to the group and discovers a link between them. Himself.

I liked how this story was told even though it was a little confusing at first. As the mysteries began to unfold, the reader learned more about Eric and two of his clients, Will and Greg. The beginning of this tale was slow, but my interest picked up as Eric himself began to be a larger part of the narrative. From there, the pace increased and moved quickly towards the finale. This is where the author began to shine because the denouement was both fascinating and heartbreaking.

Overall, this book was satisfying. The pacing issues at the beginning could very well be just me and might not bother another reader at all. I'm glad that I stuck with it, because the author masterfully weaved the ending. Even though this story didn't quite knock my socks off, (because I guessed correctly where it was going to go, but not the how), I will read more from this author in the future, because I feel like he is still honing his skills. Who knows what he might come up with next?

Recommend for fans of a mix of heavy psychological horror and the supernatural!
Profile Image for Paula Cappa.
Author 11 books483 followers
August 23, 2014
Do You Believe in Ghosts?

Eric is a graduate student psychologist counseling a 13-year old boy, Greg, who is experiencing visions of dead children—and so is another student, Will, having visions. The mix here of psychology and paranormal events is fascinating as Hains weaves an exciting and mysterious tale. Readers of the supernatural will be moved and worried and find Hains storytelling a compelling lure. Suspense is high and, yes, I kept turning the pages. The psychological examinations (many analysis sessions and told mostly in retrospect) are talky and balanced against Eric’s own past traumas, which is something of an underbelly to the main story line—and a good one. The darkness here is certainly disturbing and Hains handles it tastefully (which I was grateful for because I really don’t like to read explicit sex or violence). While I can’t say the ending was a total surprise, there is an unexpected historical twist that gave me a deep and ever-lasting shudder. Supernatural vs. reality is always good meat for fiction; this ambitious story is haunting and well done. As a writer myself, I can admire how acutely Hains constructs the imaginative space for his characters to perform. I got the distinct impression that Eric will mature into a keen psychologist exploring the psychological vs. the paranormal—maybe even in a book series. Hains certainly has my vote.

Profile Image for Rich D..
103 reviews7 followers
December 14, 2014
Review copy provided by author in exchange for an honest review

Anthony Hains' new novella, Dead Works, is a pretty entertaining story that blends psychological thriller with the supernatural for a book that is hard to put down. Eric Hansen is a doctoral student in his college's psychology program and is currently seeing patients as part of his practicum class. Eric is used to dealing with fairly normal concerns for his clients on campus - dating, roommate problems and anxiety - but his world is turned upside down when he meets his latest client, 13-year-old Greg DeHaven.

Greg's mother set up an appointment for her son saying that he was afraid of certain things and Eric was fully prepared to deal with a case of anxiety or another disorder, but when Greg finally speaks, he tells Eric he has been experiencing terrifying visions of dead kids visiting his bedroom late at night. Greg's mother explains that her and Greg's father recently divorced and Greg spends most of his time with his father during summer. Eric thinks these visions are a result of Greg grappling with the radical changes in his life and are only intensified by the fact that Greg's father and new girlfriend are both into New Age beliefs and feed into Greg's visions by believing he has psychic gifts.

Listening to Greg's story, Eric can't help but remember one of his first clients, a freshman named Will Ferguson. Eric's first session with Will challenged everything Eric had learned in his classes and had a direct impact on his subsequent experiences. Will reported visions that were strikingly similar to Greg's; seeing the ghost of a kid everywhere he went. The visions were terrifying on their own, but Will starts to go off the rails when the boy finally speaks to him. He claims that Will understands their pain and explains that he lived in an orphanage where the director, a priest, commits horrible acts against the kids in his care. Despite Will's belief in his visions, Eric still believes that there is a rational explanation for what is occurring. However, Will hands Eric a copy of a newspaper before unexpectedly running off that seems to confirm his story.

Eric's sessions with Greg not only bring up memories of his session with Will, but also memories of his own traumatizing past. As these memories start to resurface, Eric's world slowly starts to turn upside down as he begins experiencing unexplained occurrences of his own and the lines between reality and the paranormal slowly start to bleed together. While struggling with his own personal demons, Eric attempts to help Greg cope with his mysterious visions, but eventually realizes Greg is in grave danger. The story starts out leaning more towards the thriller genre - are these characters really experiencing something paranormal or is there a rational explanation for everything? - but things quickly ramp up into full on horror by the novella's exhilarating conclusion.

Hains is currently a professor of counseling psychology and his real-world experience really helps the story of Dead Works shine. The psychological elements are well-explained, but at the same time are accessible to those who do not have any experience with psychology. This helps bring out the potential psychological ramifications of the clients' claims and also gives the story credibility.

Some of the timeline transitions are a little jarring and take away from the story a little bit, but overall Hains has crafted a story that draws you in with an intriguing mystery and some pretty clever plot twists. The premise of Dead Works has been explored plenty of times before, but Hains manages to put his own spin on it and it is a very effective plot device. Dead Works may not be breaking new ground, but it is still a gripping story that will be sure to appeal to horror fans looking for a quick and haunting read.
Profile Image for Wesley Thomas.
Author 18 books41 followers
August 28, 2014

This novel is an utter triumph, it's a paranormal masterpiece. A psychological playground.

This well informed fiction takes us on an intellectually stimulating, and disturbing journey.

It is equally haunting, as it is smart.

Hats off to the writer for the great execution of what seems to be a great deal of research.

The story starts with Eric, who is studying psychology, whilst working with two younger men and trying to diagnose their mental illnesses. Anthony creates a profound bond between Eric and these men. He is genuinely interested in them, and wants to successfully uncover what mental ailments each have. These men, Greg and Will, are both seeing ghosts. It is Eric's job to determine the real reasons behind their delusions.

You are compelled to read on until Eric gets answers for both clients. Are they suffering medical illness or are they really seeing these entities? His teachings have taught him that all supernatural phenomenon boils down to our mind, but sometimes it has nothing to do with a faulty brain, but a real thing haunting our conscious mind.

As the intriguing prose continues, Eric becomes more involved in their problems than he could have ever imagined. Eric's firmly structured world of logic and reason is about to crumble around him. The character of Eric is a very complex one. We are given full detail of his heart-breaking history as the tale moves on. This reveals the true agenda behind his career choice. When his back story is told you feel as though you've been hit with a train. This story suddenly develops an emotional undercurrent that pulls you down and drowns you in sympathy and anguish.

This is a unique tale, entertaining, but also educating. Strange, but slick with intelligence. It will suck you into a void of the paranormal.

This book couldn't give you more chills if you read it in a bucket of ice.

One aspect of this book I loved was the ease of progression. Some writers struggle to find the natural rhythm of a novel. This can result in an uneven flow that can confuse and irritate the reader. But Anthony has incorporated the perfect build up, a steady pace that quickens as the climax looms ahead. But this strict structure soon spirals out of control when Eric comes to a horrifying realisation about two of his patients.

The ending is a perfect conclusion. We are given answers for the part of our brain that needs solid clarification, but an element of mystery still remains. Each main strand of the plot is neatly tied together.

If you love horror, but are also fascinated with the human psyche, this is for you!
Profile Image for Raúl Reyes.
Author 2 books13 followers
September 12, 2014
Dead Works deserves five stars for different reasons. Firstly, the story is engaging and evolves at a good pace. It combines elements of psychological thriller and ghost story, making the reader doubt whether the events are real ghost experiences or tricks of the human mind.
The narrative technique is brilliant as the story unfolds through different voices, dialogues and points of view, like pieces of a jigsaw puzzle that fit perfectly together at the end. This technique gives colour and texture to a simple but fascinating story.
I also enjoyed the scientific approach to the events which is not quite common in this genre.
All in all it's an enjoyable reading which does not disappoint the reader at any moment. Needless to say that I'll read the author's previous work and future ones as well!
Profile Image for Robert Mingee.
223 reviews12 followers
November 8, 2014
I was given a free copy of this work in exchange for an honest review. I enjoyed it quite a bit. The author's background in psychology is clear, and sometimes I felt like it went a little overboard focusing on therapy and techniques, but that's a subject that has always fascinated me, so it wasn't an issue for me. The pacing was good, and the characters were reasonably well fleshed out. There were a few more editorial issues than I usually see, but they were all minor stuff, and didn't detract too much, because I was engaged in the story. It does deal with child abuse, and I know for some people that can be a dealbreaker, so if you have a issue with that, this may not be your book. However, I will say that it was not at all graphic in that respect - it's referred to, but not explicity portrayed.
Profile Image for Joanne LaRe Thompson.
14 reviews1 follower
September 18, 2014
A wonderful paranormal/psychological thriller!

Eric seems to be the only student in his class who gets the pleasure of treating the 'haunted' psychology patients, while working towards his psychology PhD. Troubled by his own haunted past, he tries to find logical explanations for the experiences of 2 teenagers, but when he realizes that there's a connection between not only them, but with himself, it gets real and very frightening.

I had a hard time following the beginning of the book, but the more I read and got involved with the characters and storyline, the less confusing it became.

This is a great one-nighter book. Make sure to read it at night when you're by yourself. I bet you'll be closing your curtains and sleeping with the covers over your head by the end!
Profile Image for Plaguedoctor.
86 reviews28 followers
September 4, 2014
I received a PDF version of Dead Works from the author in exchange for an honest review.

Dead Works was pretty good and managed to exceed my expectations. However, I can't help but feel like the story left me feeling dissatisfied, like the story lacked some kind of 'oomth'. The characters seemed to flat and could have used more dimension to them. The writting style for the most part was captivating and entertaining but could use more description to give the story more grip and feeling. All in all though, it was a pretty good read. If you're in the mood for a short story then check this one out.
Profile Image for Jenny.
112 reviews
October 12, 2014
Anthony Hains is an excellent writer and Dead Works has a very interesting paranormal/mystery plot, both of which I liked. However, the reason I couldn't give it more than 3 stars is because the 'star' description is pretty accurate in this case. I liked it.

It was entertaining and well written enough that I read it straight through but it lacked that certain 'wow' factor that makes you tell all of your friends 'omg you HAVE to read this book'. But if you are simply looking for an enjoyable short story, this definitely fits the bill.
Profile Image for Steven.
537 reviews32 followers
October 7, 2014
Interesting, creepy, and creative. The writing style was fun and easy to follow, and the characters had life in them but I felt the story moved too fast and could have been longer. Hopefully there's plans for a sequel or even a prequel to this book.
Profile Image for Amanda M. Lyons.
Author 56 books133 followers
February 8, 2015
Overall, while I enjoyed this I feel as if, in the end, there was a great deal of the story left out and so it was not truly complete. The back and forth over psychological and supernatural elements did give it a more grounded angle.
562 reviews24 followers
March 3, 2018
Good read...

I enjoyed this book. Paranormal, supernatural, zombies, whatever is weird I want to read about it. This was a good ghost story. The characters were well defined & the storyline fell into place . It was interesting how the author actually took one ghost and played it out with three different guys .
Eric is a psychology student, Greg is a young patient receiving treatment because he sees ghosts.
Will/Aaron can only be described by reading the book. There is more at play here than just a regular haunting. There is an underlying theme of child abuse in a despicable way. Monsters who walk among us
Would highly recommend this book.. 😁
371 reviews5 followers
April 12, 2018
Very good

This is a very good ghost story. I've always had a soft spot for a truly scary story about being haunted by those who have passed. I really liked this original idea and approach to this genre, and the fact that it was also wrapped up in a mystery made it even more intriguing and mysterious. There were several very eerie and scary moments throughout and I highly recommend it.
Profile Image for Julie.
862 reviews5 followers
August 23, 2021
A Self Contained World Worth Your Time

It’s all there. All the clues. All assembled flawlessly, layered like overlapping corn husk leaves. This story is worth your time.
Displaying 1 - 15 of 15 reviews

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