"Dead Daughters" Book Review

Written by Janine Pipe

Published by Silver Shamrock Publishing

dead daughters tim meyer poster large

Written by Tim Meyer
2020, 301 pages, Fiction
Released on December 22nd, 2020


I had just missed out on Dead Daughters the first time it was released and spent many an envious month eagerly awaiting the re-release through Silver Shamrock. I didn’t spoil anything by reading other people’s reviews; I knew just enough to whet my appetite and that I needed it in my life. So, when fate intervened and I was asked if I wanted it to be my first assignment with Horror DNA, well let’s just say it was cue happy dance!

But did it live up to my exceedingly high expectations?

Dead Daughters is unlike any of Tim Meyer’s books that I have read before insofar as content goes. This is very much dark fiction, thriller-based work focusing on psychological horrors. If you are familiar with Tim at all, you will understand that despite this prior knowledge, I was still waiting for something cosmic or satanic to appear.

We follow Andrew, Drew to his friends, as a mysterious person appears to target his family, specifically his young daughter, Dinah. Meyer leads us through a tumultuous journey littered with clues and red herrings akin to Linwood Barclay or Dennis Lehane, although perhaps not quite as dark and twisted as their minds.

We learn that Drew has a chequered past and that his wife Eve has been the driving force into turning his life around. He believes he owes her everything. He is devoted to his daughter and has a job he adores and a clean, healthy lifestyle. When strange and threatening events start to occur, he doesn’t want to run. They have invested so much time and money into making their house and lifestyle something they love.

There is a realistic relationship between the family and the lead detective too. Things are not all that they seem and the cop isn’t going to rule anything out. They are all keeping things from each other and it’s only a matter of time until it all comes to a head.

We are then treated to a classic Meyer ending. Layer upon layer, twist upon twist but ultimately a satisfactory climax. Being an avid reader and a writer myself, I also unwittingly always try to guess the ending. What would I do, how will they make it not a cliché? I didn’t see this one coming though…

Something even more important in psychological-based horror and thrillers is believability. You can get away with a hell of a lot in horror because it is so out-there. It is fantastic and therefore you can create almost anything. Thrillers by their very nature are about regular people going through horrific yet entirely plausible situations. Again, through solid character development, strong dialogue and clever use of extra information presented to the reader in the form of letters, I was able to not only believe in these people, but invest in them.

Another thing that I enjoy about Meyer’s work is his authentic voice. He lives in Jersey and that lends itself to natural-sounding dialogue and realistic settings. His descriptions are spot on. You can picture in your head exactly where the characters are, without the prose being too pretentious and flowery.

So, having built Dead Daughters up in my mind, having coveted it for such a long time, did it meet my expectations? 100% yes. This book is fantastic and although I love Tim’s horror stories, I will be thrilled if he announces more of this style too. This could easily be made into a film, there are enough genuinely creepy moments to work well on camera.

As always, I don’t hold back when I enjoy someone’s work. Tim has quickly become one of my Top Three authors and is easily in the *I must read everything you have ever written* category. He is both an avid reader and watcher of many horror movies himself and that shows in his work. I am a firm believer in the more you read, the better you become at your craft and he proves it time and time again by knocking it out of the park.

I would go so far as to say that as thrillers are deemed more mainstream and marketable, this could be the book that *makes* him. I could see *normies* reading this, people used to James Patterson and Jo Nesbø and such. And I for one will be jumping with joy if I see his work in our bookstores – I’ll be the one running about like in Elf shouting “I KNOW him!”.

In summary, I bloody loved this story and everyone should read it.


Overall: 5 Star Rating Cover
Buy from Amazon US.
Buy from Amazon UK.

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Janine Pipe
Staff Reviewer
Janine has enjoyed horror from an early age, frightening herself with ghost stories and learning the craft from Stephen King. After trading in a police badge and an apple for the teach (ing assistant) er, she decided to try her hand at something she loved – writing her own scary stuff. She has many terrifying tales published and has been nominated for a 2020 Splatterpunk Award. She hopes her mum never reads a certain story about a hole in a tree … As well as reading and writing, she is an editor and publicist for Kandisha Press with her BFF Jill, where she is always on the lookout for new women’s voices for their anthologies. Her favourite authors and influences are quite obvious when you read her work. But she’d like to remind you they are: Glenn Rolfe, Hunter Shea and Tim Meyer. When not writing, reading or reviewing, Janine can be found at home with her husband and daughter, planning their next trip to Walt Disney World and drinking obscene amounts of coffee.
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