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The Church of Dead Girls
The Church of Dead Girls
Author: Stephen Dobyns
For decades, the faded, rural upstate New York village has lain dormant--until it is startlingly stirred to life when, one by one, three young girls vanish... — Nightmares are turned into horrifying reality when their corpses are found, brutally murdered, each missing their left hand... — Now, as the search for a madman gets underway, suspicion sh...  more »
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ISBN-13: 9780312977368
ISBN-10: 0312977360
Publication Date: 5/15/2001
Pages: 432
  • Currently 3.2/5 Stars.

3.2 stars, based on 38 ratings
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Book Type: Mass Market Paperback
Other Versions: Hardcover, Audio CD
Reviews: Member | Amazon | Write a Review

Top Member Book Reviews

reviewed The Church of Dead Girls on + 533 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 5
Despite the lurid title, Dobyns's latest novel (he is a poet and author of the "Saratoga" mystery series) is a compelling mystery that shows how the people in a small town change because of a series of murders. First, a promiscuous woman is murdered. Then three girls disappear in succession. The narrator reports how the symptoms of fear escalate into a raging disease consuming the community. Cloaking prejudice and fear with righteousness, certain citizens target individuals who are on the community's fringe. By the story's end, no one escapes suspicion. Many characters and the complexities of human interactions receive well-rounded treatment. This absorbing tale, fit for any general collection, is highly recommended.
reviewed The Church of Dead Girls on + 29 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 5
This is a great mystery with kinky sex, freaky characters, and many twists and turns. I couldn't put it down until I was done!
sfields avatar reviewed The Church of Dead Girls on + 21 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 5
I picked this up at a discount store because I noticed it had a little blurb on the cover from Stephen King recommending it. I was glad that I did. It's a good "read in the dark" kind of book. I rarely pick up an unknown author and this book was a nice suprise. The characters and chilling mystery drew me in. I couldn't put it down.
melusina avatar reviewed The Church of Dead Girls on + 32 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 4
Despite its superficial resemblance to a whodunit, The Church of Dead Girls is not a "thriller." Don't expect it to be suspenseful. This is a literary horror tale--slow-paced, contemplative, meticulous in its descriptions--a horror tale about a formerly sleepy small town in which the crucial distinction between public and private life is dissolving, as suspicion spreads like a toxin. The reader's guide to this process of corruption is a high school biology teacher--reserved, somewhat snotty, but a thoughtful man, and reliable in spite of his cynicism. He says, "It is dreadful not to be allowed to have secrets. Years ago I happened to uncover a nest of baby moles in the backyard and I watched them writhe miserably in the sunlight. We were like that." Ultimately you realize that the killer's identity, even the deaths of three girls, are small matters compared to the collapse of the town's very soul.

This novel is available from my Bookshelf.
Jan1 avatar reviewed The Church of Dead Girls on + 52 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 4
Everyone seems to love the Stieg Larsson books right now (i.e., The Girl with The Dragon Tattoo, etc.) but I think Dobyn's has those books beat in The Church of Dead Girls. So if you like the writing style of Larsson, you really must give this one a read. I thought this was an excellent psychological thriller/mystery and a tremendous study of what the increasing paranoia can do to a small town as it slowly realizes that something horrible is happening in their previously safe, slightly boring midst. You'll stay up to the wee hours of the night reading this one!
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reviewed The Church of Dead Girls on + 2793 more book reviews
story wasn't going anywhere after nearly 100 pages, it just kept dragging on and on about the people of the town and I guess you needed to know that in order to get to the main story but it was just too boring
doatylucky avatar reviewed The Church of Dead Girls on + 23 more book reviews
There are lots of characters in this book, nevertheless, I could not put it down. Dobyns really keeps one drawn in to the story. I read this in one afternoon. Nice surprise ending.
mluvsj avatar reviewed The Church of Dead Girls on + 40 more book reviews
This book sounded so promising and the reader reviews were great but I just couldnt get into it, The author spent so much time on details it seemed thats all the book was, I kept putting it down and would try to pick it up again after 3 days and less then 100 pages read I had to give up. The story was so slow moving and there wasnt really one character that was the main focus of the book. I wouldnt recommend this to anyone that likes a fast read because this definately isnt one.


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