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4.31  ·  Rating details ·  71 ratings  ·  35 reviews
Katia Billings, EMT with the Emergency Medical Services of Buxton Beach, NC, is one of the first to respond after a hurricane rips through the small island community. As she helps search for survivors, she and her fellow responders discover a secret that will haunt Katia the rest of her life.

Lurking beneath the sand dunes is an evil that no one suspected.

A sandy grave
Kindle Edition, 223 pages
Published December 15th 2018 by Flashpoint Publications
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Average rating 4.31  · 
Rating details
 ·  71 ratings  ·  35 reviews

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Nov 07, 2019 rated it it was ok
As this is another negative review in a week, a month? I apologize if this review comes off as abrasive or terse. I'm just sick of writing negative reviews and finishing books feeling unsatisfied as I'm always looking for books that'll make me think and really feel, and this was not for me.

This book surprised a bad way. I really enjoyed reading the reviews written by the lesfic warriors so I was expecting myself to love it too. However, to enjoy this book required a major suspension of
Nov 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
The author bares the most heinous ulcers of the soul of those walking amongst us. She tells the story that she wanted to tell and so go in if you’re ready for a tale of humans at their worst. This is one of those books that you can’t reveal too many details because it would all be spoilerish. I do want to mention triggers: child sexual abuse, explicit violence against women, death over and over again, the pov of a killer. Even the few happy moments seem like an overcast sky.

When a hurricane hits
Jun 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
One word. Sandman. On the book cover. The text almost translucent, as if trying to hide in plain sight with its colour melding into the sandy beach with an ominous-looking sky looming above the troubled waters. 

What is Sandman? 

When I first heard about Tammy Bird's debut novel, "Sandman," I was immediately curious. First, the cryptic title, which set my mind whirling trying to ascertain its meaning or symbolism. The aesthetically unsettling cover closed the deal for me. SOLD.

Then, the fact that
Apr 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Oh my goodness.

I love thrillers. And Tammy Bird hit a home run. Normally I like a fast pace thriller, but this one was the right pace. There were so many twist and turns going on. At one point I thought we weren't going to find out who the killer was. The characters were well developed and believable. I hope there is a sequel coming. I definitely recommend this book.
Dec 26, 2018 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed the book. It is dark, as it covers many difficult and timely topics, but very engaging. The atmosphere reminded me of the Diane Wood’s books a bit. I would approach Sandman as a collection of irrevocably intertwined lives to discover rather than a mystery to solve.

The characters are interesting and well-developed. I especially appreciated the parts told from the Marco’s, Kaita’s brother with autism spectrum disorder, POV.

There is a romantic subplot which never takes the front stage kee
Martha Barghusen Foster
Apr 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Suspenseful, kept my interest throughout. The novel had well-developed characters that one soon cares a lot for, which adds to the suspense. Even though I guessed “whodunnit”, it still came as a shock to me, contradictory as that may seem — you’ll understand if you read the book, which I highly recommend!
Marina DelVecchio
May 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A psychological thriller that brings to light how childhood abuse by a trusted figure can twist the insides of a human being, this book had me turning the pages, refraining from going to the end to see who the Sandman really was. The ending was unexpected and thrilling. First of all, we don’t know who the serial killer that slashes the throats of “bad” women is until the very end, and this made the book exciting and unpredictable. Secondly, I loved that the women are the heroes in this novel. Th ...more
Tootie Strain
Apr 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Read this book in one day - could not put it down! Tammy is a awesome upcoming author! If you love mystery thrillers this is a great read!! Will have you guessing until the end!
Feb 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing
The characters are so real and the story engaging.
Jen Paul
Dec 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Sandman is sure to please any reader with a taste for dark, twisted thrillers. This novel threatens the very idea of safety- even in an idyllic beach town. The characters are raw- some deliciously, others disturbingly so. Don't start reading until you're ready to see it through. You won't want to stop until you've turned the last page; but even then you'll be upset that it's over.
Dec 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This psychological thriller will make you think twice about your simple familiar surroundings and those you thought you knew. From the very beginning you will be drawn into the turmoil that this quiet little beach town finds itself in and the secrets that lie just beneath their feet. Page after page you will stay engaged and won't want to put it down, because just when you think you know the answers, you will find yourself questioning your theory.

The author draws you into the characters and the
Feb 27, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: book-club
great first novel with interesting characters taking place in NC. wonderful meeting the author too. I'm not into mysteries but this one holds you to the very end. looking forward to future writings.
Kristin Charles
Jan 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Wow, this book is a page turner for sure. This mystery is told from many different view points. Although it’s theme is very dark (especially at times), it also shows that there is life after tragedy. I would recommend to anyone that likes mystery and psychological thrillers with just a bit of romance thrown in.
Elizabeth Baker
Dec 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This debut novel by Tammy Bird, a North Carolina writer, is as suspenseful and thrilling as it is touching to read. As a native North Carolinian who has spent many a summer, fall, and winter at the Outer Banks, I found that Bird gets Hatteras Island (and its villagers) spot on. What she gets even better, though, is drawing the reader into caring about a character so deeply that you hurt for her losses. And there are many. Katia is a complex young woman with a small circle of friends (and a CSI g ...more
Renee Hoffman
Dec 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Brilliant story, Tammy Bird! I loved the suspense! I couldn’t put it down but did to savor the ending. I loved how Tammy wove Autism and spoon theory into CSI and crime scene stuff! Absolutely brilliant!
Katie Lovin
Dec 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Absolutely captivating. I couldn't put it down. Well developed characters that I cared about. Can't wait for the next book from Tammy Bird!
Melissa Redden
Mar 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
As most of you know I’m a huge fan of thrillers. When I was given the opportunity to read Sandman by Tammy Bird I jumped at the chance. I mean who doesn’t love a strong group of lesbians fighting against time to bring a serial killer to justice.

I was drawn into Sandman from the very start. Katia is everything I love in a main character. She is cool in the face of danger and willing to do anything to help protect the ones she loves. When a hurricane rips through the Outer Banks of North Carolina
T.J. Dallas
Jun 11, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: lesfic
I really enjoyed this, I couldn't put it down! This was my first book by the author, and the About the Author section highlighted that they were all about "psychologically hard, gritty and real" and truer words have never been spoken, lol. This was all of those things, and fairly graphic. Somethings are a little harder than others (not sure whether there should be content warnings? It's highlighted as a thriller, and 'thrill' it did, but the blurb doesn't give much away about what the book conta ...more
Oct 10, 2019 rated it really liked it
This was the first book this year...yes this year....that truly pulled me in. I couldn't stop reading this. The beginning is just fantastic. Lots of action and interesting characters. The author builds a lot of suspense and tension. The middle becomes even better as there are some emotional and romantic issues swirling as well. Then the end. Well ,obviously the end. But I found it rushed and extremely anti-climactic. One of the central-minor, but still central- storylines is just completely drop ...more
Oct 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing
5 stars of totally scaring the crap out of me. This book is not for the faint of heart, very well writing, keeps you on the edge and guessing all the way through.
Beth Burnett
Dec 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I should note first that I don't normally read thrillers. I read this one because I heard the author read a five-minute snippet from this book at a reading and it was visceral enough to make me want to check out the book. Once I was in, I was deeply in. The characters are well-rounded and interesting with their individual foibles and their real human conversations. I love how the author delved into the psyches of the different characters, especially when dealing with people who don't normally ge ...more
Feb 13, 2019 rated it really liked it
This first book by Tammy Bird was heart-warming, creepy, frightening, surprising, and hard to put down. Characters were well defined and I was rooting for them, not only to solve the mystery before any more bodies piled up, but to work through their own issues. I found myself worrying about the characters after the book ended, which I consider one sign of a really good book. I gave the book four stars instead of five because (a) I'm a tough grader, and (b) I want Tammy Bird's next book to be eve ...more
May 31, 2020 rated it did not like it
Shelves: mysteries, fiction, lgbti
I wanted to like this book. It was obvious that the author put a fair amount of research into it (in one case a factoid she dug up was so interesting that she managed to work it into the text twice, appropriately the first time, a bit less so the second). The mystery wasn't hard to unravel. The red herrings were so red they looked like boiled lobsters. There was a bit of what I call "churning," by which I mean characters pacing around spewing angst, rather than doing much of anything. I didn't f ...more
Cindy Brookshire
Jan 25, 2020 rated it really liked it
I really liked the riveting storytelling, and the information I gleaned about crime scene investigations and how crime dogs do their tough jobs. But I admit I had to skim over some of the queasy stuff in the head of the killer - definitely not cozy. Characters were real and human. What I'll remember a year from now will be Marco. I liked being inside his head. And how benign beaches hold so many secrets. I look forward to reading the author's next book.
Apr 08, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I enjoyed reading this book quite a lot! Nothing like a beach town murder! It's well written and thought out. Each character was unique and I connected with them all. As a dog lover, I enjoyed the different uses of dogs in the book and how helpful canines can be in many situations.

This is a dark and twisted sort of story and I was pretty shocked by the end. I highly recommend this book to anyone who loves thrillers or murder mysteries!
Apr 28, 2019 rated it really liked it
Did not see the end coming at all. 4 stars because I felt like the story really dragged in the beginning and because I felt that "fuck" was used ENTIRELY too much throughout the made the writing seem a bit amateur to me. (And yes, I do use it as part of my vocabulary, as needed, so I am not overly sensitive about it.)
Melanie Gregor
Jun 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Tammy Bird’s debut novel, Sandman, is a twisted psycho-thriller from start to finish, and I mean that in the best of ways! I found the characters relatable and genuine. The killer isn’t revealed until the end and it was mind blowing! I’ll never be able to be at the beach now without looking very carefully at the dunes and imagining what they might be hiding! Well done, Ms Bird! Keep ‘em coming!
Margaret L. Hedman
Aug 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing

Is it improper to say you liked a book based on a serial killer? I liked Sandman. But there is quite a bit of violent death. Some is seen directly, other deaths are only referred to, but described in vivid detail. Yes, it’s lesfic because the main character is a lesbian. But there is not much else that makes this a lesfic novel.
W. Tinkanesh
Nov 06, 2019 rated it really liked it
'Sandman' left me baffled.
When I started reading it, I liked the style. I felt there was something unusual about this book. It is lesfic, but it is more focused on the crime investigation and the characters. I liked that. But the style and the story had a coldness about them that I had never found in lesfic before. It is not a cozy novel. The easy-reading feel is an illusion.
Well done.
Larae Mitchell
Apr 19, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book. Honestly my best read so far this year. I asked for recommendations on Twitter and this was one of 8 I chose. Not my usual genre but a real gem. I will definitely be reading more from this author.
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Some people buy a fancy sports car or fly to far away lands when they hit middle age. Tammy started writing fiction. A literature professor by trade, she deemed it fitting to write about the kaleidoscopic prisms of human nature in her thriller/suspense stories and novels.

Be warned, her work is psychologically hard and gritty and real. Her second novel, THE BOOK OF PROMISES, a YA suspense set in D

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