31 Days of Spooky Reads: Dead Lake

A predictable thriller novella, with zombies coming out of lakes and a serial killer on the loose.


  • Want a quick, easy horror novella
  • Want a moody read
  • Like zombie books

TitleDead Lake | Author: Darcy CoatesRating: 3/5

I’ve enjoyed other Darcy Coates’ titles, so when I saw this one, I picked it up, not sure what to expect. The book was thrilling enough in that I kept reading to understand what was going on. But there was something missing from the book. It felt too much like a standard mild horror, but was a little more twisted than that.

Sam, an artist, decides to take up her friend’s offer to stay at his Harob Lake cabin. He tells her to stay away from the lake’s dock, however, as it’s rotting and she could fall into the lake. But things quickly go awry, as Sam spots a figure standing right on the rotting dock, peering down into the waters, as if searching for something. Then, that same figure starts watching her.

Sam soon finds odd things happening in the cabin: mugs set on the table with their handles in the same direction, all in a row, paintings done on her canvases that Sam didn’t paint.

And then things quickly go from odd to uneasy.

Sam figures out there’s a man stalking her and the cabin, and just when she decides to escape, she finds her car has been tampered with. She’s stuck alone, in a remote woods, where people have been going missing – more than usual.

Sam knows the man is behind the missing people, and when she radios in for help, she gets nothing. And then, one morning, she wakes up next to the corpse of a man she doesn’t know – and that corpse speaks to her. He tells her to run, and that someone is after her.

Overall, Dead Lake kept me in suspense as I kept trying to understand what was going on. But parts of the book reminded me of Scooby Doo on Zombie Island, which I loved as a child, but expected more out of this horror novella.

I did like the story, and the ending was both expected and unexpected. But all too much of the plot and the scenes were predictable, and left me thinking, Darcy Coates could have done more with this. It’s an easy read, though, and can be finished in a few hours. So if you’re looking for a quick thrilling read, Dead Lake is a good enough one to pick up.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.