Dead Woman Scorned by Michael Clark is the second terrifying book in the series following The Patience of a Dead Man.
I read this straight after finishing the first in the series, The Patience of a Dead Man. I just had to find out what happened after the cliff-hanger of the first. While Dead Woman Scorned is a standalone, you will enjoy it much more if you read the first in the series (and why wouldn’t you want to? It’s fantastic!). Make sure you check out my review of The Patience of a Dead Man!
This book has a slightly different approach to the first book. The first 35% of the story goes into Mildred’s life and how she became a revenant. It also shows some of her memories that she re-enacts. This gave perspective into what was happening during these moments — in the first book, Tim and Holly only saw her speaking (the ‘goose memory’ is no less horrifying, though). I didn’t think it was possible for me to feel any kind of sympathy for her after the first book, but after that, I did start to feel for her.
As well as Mildred looking for revenge on Tim and Holly, she also gets revenge on a group of revenants that transformed her. Helms and the lifestyle of the revenants was quite an interesting side plot so I was a little disappointed when that section ended. It’s well-paced and exciting, and makes Mildred all the more terrifying — you realise what she is capable of.
Tim and Holly meet their neighbour, Bob Simmons, a local cop and whose family has history with the Wells/Pike family. He is related to Elizabeth and Emma, who created the scrapbook that Tim found in the first book. I didn’t quite understand why Tim was so reluctant to talk to Bob about what happened as he could have been a helpful ally. Yes, his past relatives were a bit nosy — but as it turned out, not without good reason! And why does his ancestors’ personality reflect on Bob? But of course, they don’t want to believe that Mildred might not actually be gone (and who could blame them?).
Despite the different approach, later in the book Dead Woman Scorned becomes just as tense and scary as the first. I couldn’t put it down, skipping all my other plans for the day! Once again, Michael has crafted a detailed, immersive story that is an excellent follow up to the first book.
The third in the series, Anger is an Acid, has just been released and I will be reading it next! (Especially after THAT cliffhanger!)
The blurb for Dead Woman Scorned
She’s back, and they’ll regret what they’ve done. Mildred Wells had a miserable life that carried over to a lonesome death. In the end, they betrayed her – played her the fool. She was the last to know, but there’s still time to catch up. She’ll formulate her painful plan as they live their lives in blissful ignorance. With no more family, only vengeance drives her; in fact, it’s all she has anymore. She would rather have rested in peace, but for Mildred, dying isn’t so easy.
Michael Clark was raised in New Hampshire and lived in the house The Patience of a Dead Man is based on. The bats of the barn really circled the rafters all day and there actually was a man-made grove hidden in the forest. He now lives in Massachusetts with his wife Josi and his dog Bubba. The Patience of a Dead Man is his first novel. Dead Woman Scorned is his second. Anger is an Acid (book three) is also available). What’s next? A story that takes place in a very cold place.