review of Names of the Dead

The Names of the Dead Girls: Eric Rickstad


Someone is watching you but you cannot see or hear the person. Someone wants to end your life because of something your father did to him. Someone attacked you and you have never been able to deal with it and now that someone is no longer is prison and you think he is coming back for you. This man is responsible for killing your parents long ago and now that your uncle some harsh truths are about to come out since your uncle has adopted you, your father, tried to hide and protect you from the horrific truth. But, this man is not finished yet and more girls will pay the price, as the list of the names of the dead girls will vastly grow before we hope this person is stopped.

Ned Preacher is a serial rapist and murderer who has now been released from prison after serving a light sentence. He is taunting and threatening Rachel Rath the young girl in question whose parents were brutally murdered but girls will go missing and one woman named Dana Clark has made his list as former Detective Frank Rath and

Detective Sonja Test must form a strategy to take down a killer but is he the only one? Dana Clark is heading for her daughter’s house when someone seems to be following her in an SUV. Calling her daughter alerting her to the danger hoping she will get her help but the call terminates as Dana claims she’s okay so why doesn’t she arrive at the daughter’s home? Where is Dana Clark?
Frank Rath does not want to go back to his former position but the Chief of Police gives him no choice and in order to protect his daughter he is going to have to pull out all of the stops and use the resources available to him when another victim is found. Rachel in the mean time is using Google to search for Ned Preacher and views him being led into the courtroom in shackles. The expression on his face allows readers by the vivid description provided by the author letting us know he is taunting those in the courtroom and practically shouting out: I DID IT! SO WHAT! SHE HAD IT COMING! THEY ALL HAD IT COMING!
Afraid to be alone yet not wanting to be held captive in her old room she and her boyfriend Felix begin to feel trapped and Rachel is going to do something about it and the first step is to learn more about the stabbing of her parents and the next will surprise readers. Rachel viewed the murder photos and the back-story about Preacher and what he did in 1989 to a young 12-year-old girl. The description is graphic and the end result is more than horrific. But, why did they say he would profit from behavior modification? On page 100 understand why she was fuming, what he did to her parents and the meaning of the knife. Barrons was the person in charge as the reason she received the files is that Test sent them to her. There were several murders and one called in by a boy and his father who even took pictures of the dead body so they would be believed. But, the questioning was extensive and at times you begin to think that everyone is a suspect in these murders. Abby Land is in prison and she is either naïve, stupid, gullible or al three. Held in the prison’s Administrative Segregation area for her safety. When you hear her voice you’ll understand why. Abby killed Mandy Wilkes. Rath questioning her reveals it might have been over Luke Montgomery and the way Mandy looked at him. Jealous rage! Jamie Drake was found hanged and you could tell the killer tortured her slowly but Abby just looked as if she was drifting into another world. Her mannerisms were odd and her reaction even stranger. Thinking she was going to get out I two years was a lie she believed thinking that she would never do hard time. But, in two years it would change when she reached 18 and would be tried as an adult. Even with her lawyer explaining it to her she seemed spaced out and kept thinking it was a lie. Reality never really sets in until the final reveal when she explains her actions.

Rehashing the murders and speaking with Luke Montgomery they inform him about he murder of Mandy Wilks and that Abby Land killed her. But, his behavior was odd and the responses not quite what you would expect and his description of Abby right on target but he did not think Mandy was killed because of him. But, while speaking to him a startling revelation was revealed that Mandy and Jamie’s murders were connected and but he claims he did not know either girl. Was that true?
A phone call from a retired inspector from Canada takes the murders across the border as Rochelle Beauchamp and Vanessa Lancaume’s murders come to light and Rath shares his findings and files about Jamie this man once he realizes he’s legitimate. Page 234 reveals information about the hanging of the murder victims in both countries and something that was told to CTV Montreal about the body found in the Richelieu River. But, the reports came at the same time on CTV television. The murders go back to 1991 and the killers might be the same so what it Preacher in both places?
Pages 252- 255 will enlighten readers even further as we learn some information from the lab, the tests, the fingerprints and how they were received and what Inspector Hubert reveals about Lucille Forte another victim and the fact that each victim was from a well to do family but how do they all link together as Rath enlists the help of a former cop named Grout.

Learning there are other victims from the 1990’s will set in motion events that will change it all as he reads the lists from the Double Black Diamond Resort, the sign-ups for the acting auditions and there is the link to the victims and what they have in common but why kill them?

A simple item will change it all as something from the auditions and the place where they took place links them even more. Mandy Wilks: Notepad: no one puts her at the DBD: killed by Abby Land. Abby attended the auditions at the resort on Oct 12 and killed Mandy.

Jamie Drake was also there and attended the audition found tortured, murdered by hanging. Killer?

Did Ned Preacher do it or Luke Montgomery? Boyd Pratt III was there too for an adoption of a baby girl. Not a suspect in the murders

Luke has no connection to the DBD. He is Land’s motive for killing Mandy. But, this proved nothing until something happens and you won't believe the revelation as Rath was following and stalking Preacher at the time of one of the murders.

Who was stalking Rachel and why did this man appear out of nowhere? Why didn’t some red flags rise? What happens the next time he is there and why does he offer her a ride? But a situation lends itself that she needs a ride and what happens would place her in dire danger. Her father and Felix warned her against being anywhere alone and not heeding their warning might bring the murderer front and center. Throughout the investigation Sonja is dealing with her husband Claude who wants to take a post as a visiting artist and perhaps a permanent position but she cannot focus on this and when she finally does what will her response be to both situations?
Someone was behind the murders and someone was controlling Abby Land but who and how does this relate to what happens to Rachel? Rachel is in danger can she get away from this dangerous person before it’s too late. Texts do not go through but there is someone who would change it all as Preacher opens the door, has no idea what will happen next and the truth behind something else is revealed? Where is Dana Clark? Who controlled Abby and why did she say I did it for him? Rath has always been on the straight and narrow, honest to almost a fault so when you learn the truth about who the real killer is, what really happened to Dana Clark and the startling revelation at the end you the reader decide who is guilty and who is not!

Lies, betrayals, deceits, cover-ups, revenge, survival and one young girl named Rachel that even resorted to buying a gun and learning to use it protect herself from a deadly killer. The ending brings into question whether the story will stop right there or will Rath decide to take it one step further. When you read the last page you decide as author Eric Rickstad created a mystery/psychological/thriller far surpassing so many others that I have reviewed. Frank Rath is a solid character that takes on a case or task and is relentless and will stop at nothing to get to the truth, as does his daughter who works along side of him helping with his cases. What’s next for Rath and hopefully Test too? Only this great author knows that for sure. Heart stopping, suspense filled and a twist at the end that will make you heart beat faster hoping that the final tally will be an end to the list of the NAMES OF THE DEAD GIRLS. Fran Lewis: Just reviews/MJ magazine