Harry Shannon has become one of my favorite writers. I've had the pleasure of watching in grow from a 'merely' good writer to one of the best craftsman in the business. Each new work has shown growth and confidence. My favorites are the Mick Callahan series of suspense novels and the amazing thriller, The Pressure of Darkness. These works are not only ruthlessly entertaining, but important pieces of fiction. Still, his books are a good read for a rainy weekend or on the beach while on vacation off on some all inclusive trips.

Dead and Gone shows Harry in a more playful mood. While it's scary and well-written, there's a fun tongue-in-cheek quality to the novel that I found irresistible. The story deals with a man and his comatose wife trying to exist in an isolated cabin. A cabin where a horrible murder/suicide once happened. Local legend claims the house to be haunted. And the man begins to see ghosts and other assorted phenomena. Is the cabin truly haunted? Or is the man suffering from dementia?

Harry Shannon goes for the kitchen sink approach with Dead and Gone, resulting in deliriously good time for the reader. We also get to know a tough but beautiful deputy with some mental ghosts of her own, some deranged hillbillies and a sheriff that might bear more than a slight resemblance to the author of the book.

Dead and Gone is a cool throwback to those delightfully over the top horror movies of the 80's when there were as many laughs as there were scares. He also sneaks in some sharp insights into human nature and some of his own personal philosophies. But don't let that worry you. He's much more interested in giving his readers a roller coaster ride than any sort of morality play.

Dead and Gone is an odd project. It's a movie scripted by Harry Shannon that is now available on DVD from Lion's Gate. And Harry has novelized his own screenplay, which will be available in trade paperback soon from Delirium Books. Both get my highest recommendation.

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