Dead Children’s Playground is a captivating paranormal suspense novel based on a real-life urban legend in Huntsville, Alabama, commonly known as Rocket City. The story follows Arik Ensminger, a young man following in his father’s footsteps and working his way through medical school. Arik, however, is more interested in taking photographs of the local caves in his neighborhood. When word gets out that there is a serial killer on the loose who is killing children and dumping their bodies in a park, Arik finds himself at the center of an insidious mystery. Along with his friend Willa, he is led into the depths of a nearby cave by the ghost of a young girl who reveals the truth about the missing children; but the truth, as it turns out, isn’t as clear as it seems. Arik must dig deeper to find out exactly how he’s connected to the Dead Children’s Playground and why there is a secret tunnel leading to it from his home.
“I’ve lived in Huntsville three different times, so I have a keen knowledge and perspective on the story,” says author Dawn C Crouch. A multi-faceted talent, Crouch is the author of four nonfiction and three fiction books, in addition to being an optioned screenwriter who placed Top 10 in the PAGE International Screenwriting Competition. With Dead Children’s Playground, Crouch’s goal was to weave urban legend with historical fact, to explore the possibility that truth is stranger than fiction. “I was fascinated by the coincidental timing of the coming of the German scientists to Rocket City and the arrival of a child abductor who brought his victims to the playground…I wanted to challenge my readers to notice connections between seemingly disparate, discordant details.”
Dead Children’s Playground is complex and original, and yet easy to follow. It’s an exciting take on the urban legend genre that dives deeper into real-life history than one might expect; but rest assured, Crouch keeps the story grounded in what’s thought provoking and attention grabbing. The beats of the story are perfectly arranged, guiding you along the narrative with masterful forethought. Crouch’s quick but evenly paced prose makes it that much harder to put the book down. In addition, her vivid, gothic, descriptions are one of the book’s standout features. Though the many reveals and surprises that carry the story forward are exciting and often unnerving, it is the way that Crouch sets the stage and paints the picture that allows her plot points to land with such force. Buried beneath the twists and turns of the story’s exciting and chilling mystery lies an investigation of themes of love, hate, loyalty, and scientific objectivity.
Dead Children's Playground has received positive reviews from well-known literary organizations, authors, and reviewers around the world. Reviewer, Chet N. writes, “I'm so impressed with how the author brought this story together. Is it a mystery? Yes. A ghost story? Yes. A romance? Again, yes. Extremely well written, it's both enlightening and spooky.” In addition, reviewer Gary J. Rose writes, “Hats off to the author for a suspenseful page-turner. Using a factual historical reference to something our country did after World War II called Operation Paperclip…the author then weaves that into her plot where her protagonist stumbles into a section of the cave that he did not know existed…add on missing children, and decomposing bodies and you have a great mystery/adventure story.”
In Dead Children’s Playground, Crouch will take your breath away as you follow her twisted tale page after page. Available for sale on Amazon, readers who enjoy captivating paranormal suspense novels are encouraged to purchase their copy today: https://tinyurl.com/k7jev7kr
About the Author
Dawn C Crouch writes from the heart of experience. A native of New Orleans and a former dancer with Houston Ballet, she explores timeless themes from an inside angle. She holds a degree in political science, pursued a graduate, and has written copy for a living. An optioned screenwriter, she placed top ten for Action/Adventure in the PAGE International Screenwriting Competition. The author of three fiction novels, she also pens Garage Ballet™, a popular series of nonfiction instructional books that detail her knowledge and life as both a dancer and teacher. Visit dawncrouch.com for updates on new releases.
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