Blood Re(a)d: ZED by Jason McIntyre

Zed, The Next Dovetail Series by Jason McIntyre

Hosted by: Charming Tours and Events

It’s the waning dog days of August, 1975 and Tom Mason’s in Dovetail Cove for the last few weeks of his summer job at the group home. His boss and the home’s owner is Karen Banatyne, one of the wealthiest folks in town. It seems like she’s got it in for Tom; she’s the only one standing in his way as he scrimps for a new camera.

But Karen has her own problems. A regulatory agency might cut off her funding, plus her hubby hasn’t been seen in a few weeks, and she’s not saying why. Most ominous of all, it seems as though something’s hiding in the hot spring north of the main beach and one of Karen’s ‘houseguests’ is about to come face to face with evil. Tom is too.

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MY RATING (out of 5)

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MY REVIEW
Set in Jason McIntyre’s Dovetail Cove world, ZED is a dark tale revolving around a group home run by well-to-do nurse Karen Banatyne.

But with Karen more interested in trying to keep the funds rolling in than doing anything other than pumping her “guests”full of downers to keep them in check, it falls upon summer intern Tom Mason to keep the mentally & physically-challenged “houseguests” occupied.

Zed,-The-Next-Dovetail-NoveA trip to the local watering hole turns out to be the catalyst for a slow, simmering darkness that transforms one of Tom’s charges, Zed, from the one whose “thinker’s a glass bottle, crushed under a heifer and glued back together with snot” to one who can remember exactly how a childhood accident made him the man he is, as well as giving him a better idea of what is actually going on under the surface of the sleepy little town.

This part of the story was interesting and provided a thrilling undercurrent to the tale, but I kind of wished more came of it. We only see this darkness through Zed, but I would have liked Tom to have experienced the strange effects of the deeper springs.

I was actually expecting a bigger “beastie” in the book. Although there is a decent gross-out scene later that answers the question as to why Nurse Karen gets so desperate and secretive when asked about the whereabouts of her husband and partner in business, Chris, I would probably categorize this as more of a slow-burning suspense story than outright horror.

I also found a bit of head-hopping within chapters or scenes, where the POV character switched at will which got a little confusing, but all in all, I enjoyed Jason’s writing style and this glimpse into Dovetail Cove in the 70’s.

As this was described as a “mosaic” piece, another piece to the puzzle that makes up the author’s Dovetail Cove series, I enjoyed seeing the history of the town, and it only made me want to read the other books of the series to see how these aspects made Dovetail Cove what it is today.

All in all, I’d say this was a great summer read — more suspense than horror but with supernatural nuances that kept me hooked to the very end. There were some questions left unanswered and I can only hope the author is exploring these things further in future works.

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