I have written elsewhere about my strange childhood relationship with ghosts. But it wasn’t till I first discovered Randall & Hopkirk (Deceased) that the idea of teaming up with a dead sidekick – to bust crime and have adventures – changed the way I thought about being haunted forever. Dan and the Dead is the result of that.
Daniel Dyer can see dead people. And as he admits himself, he was pretty much headed for the loony bin as a result. Until he met Si, that is. Who’s Si? Well, he’s one of them – a dead person, I mean – but he’s the one who convinced Dan he was looking at ghosts the wrong way. Because yes, they’re dead, but they’re something else too: they’re still people. And when people need something, people will always pay.
So now Dan’s in business, with a spectral sidekick and everything. Dan’s the talent, Si thinks he’s the brains of the outfit, and between them they’re pretty damn awesome. In a skin-of-Dan’s-teeth kind of way. But when Dan takes on the case of murdered teen Emeline, things take on a dramatic turn that even Si wasn’t expecting.
There’s a dead Victorian magician to contend with, a feisty ghost client who’s hard to impress, a sleazy nightclub owner with a fake tan and gold polyester fluffy dice, a scary lady vicar, and more North Sea than is good for a kid whose hands are tied behind his back. And there are guns and car chases and empty tombs and drama teachers and wheelie bins and a severed finger, and Si’s certainly isn’t shy with his ‘little party trick’ (but you’ll have to read the book to find out what that is).
Dan knows how to deal with the dead. All he has to do is avoid joining them.
Conceived for newly confident readers aged 10-14, Dan and the Dead is short on length but long on action. I also drew the pictures. It’s an e-book too. The sequel, Dan and the Caverns of Bone, is due to be published in June, 2013. Even Si is excited about that!
Dan and the Dead was selected by the Reading Agency to be part of the Creepy House Summer Reading Challenge in 2013. It is available an an audio book from Audible, or to buy on CD direct from the publisher, Oakhill.
“This is a delightful, scary romp… A funny all-action adventure with creepy but non-terrifying characters. Age 9+. ” — The Irish Examiner