The Church of Dead Girls

The Church of Dead Girls

3.64 (2,193 ratings by Goodreads)
By (author) 

Free delivery worldwide

Available. Dispatched from the UK in 2 business days
When will my order arrive?


One by one, three young girls vanish in a small town in upstate New York. With the first disappearance, the townspeople begin to mistrust outsiders. When the second girl goes missing, neighbors and childhood friends start to eye each other warily. And with the third disappearance, the sleepy little town awakens to a full-blown nightmare. The Church of Dead Girls is a novel that displays Stephen Dobyns' remarkable gifts for exploring human nature, probing the ruinous effects of suspicion. As panic mounts and citizens take the law into their own hands, no one is immune, and old rumors, old angers, and old hungers come to the surface to reveal the secret history of a seemingly genteel town and the dark impulses of its inhabitants.
show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 445 pages
  • 134.62 x 200.66 x 35.56mm | 385.55g
  • Blue Rider Press
  • English
  • Reprint
  • 0143107828
  • 9780143107828
  • 1,383,231

Review quote

"Long after most other tales of murder and insanity have panted to their foregone conclusions, the suspense in this tale continues to build. The Church of Dead Girls is a meditation on hysteria, immensely ambitious, but Dobyns tells the tale with thte calm--and the fearful inevitability--of a man walking down a long hotel corridor to a room where some awful thing is waiting. Best of all? He never pulls up or turns aside--I kept reading, riveted by the plot and rooting with all my heart for Dobyns to pull it off. And he did, in a terrifying climax. I don't expect to read a more frightening novel this year. Very rich, very scary, very satisfying." -Stephen King

"A complex parable of social disintegration...Dobyns'sad a disquieting novel carries a contemporary moral, true in even the smallest American towns." -The New York Times Book Review

"A chilling evocation of small-town life turned upside down. Dobyns delivers the goods." -San Francisco Chronicle "The Church of Dead Girls is that rare thing--a genuine thriller that transcends its genre. You'll read it with equal parts curiosity, dread, and wonder." --Richard Russo "Edgy tension and considerable suspense... This could be any small town, and that truth is perhaps the most frightening thought of all."--The Washington Post Book World "The creepiness mounts with Hitchcockian intensity... The bloody conclusion is worth the wait."--The Chicago Tribune "Dobyns has that rare ability, found in only the most accomplished of storytellers, to reveal the mystery--the payoff--that the reader has been turning the pages to discover, but to do so without dispelling the sense of greater mystery which is the condition of the human heart." --Stuart Dybek "Tantalizingly sinister...Dobyns hooks us from the very first sentence." --People "Dobyns is a master storyteller with a superb sense of our culture's postures and foibles. He can terrify and delight all at once. This is a page-turner." --Mary Karr "Dobyns delivers all the satisfactions of a good thriller writer... but he also captures something beyond the reach of most genre novelists: a sense of life on the page.... Every summer, readers look for a novel that will keep them turning the pages without insulting their intelligence. It's unlikely there will be a better novel this season than The Church of Dead Girls." --New York Daily News

"In its Gothic evocation of small-town life and mob hysteria, it often suggests the influence of Sherwood Anderson and Shirley Jackson, and Dobyns knows his upstate New York setting as well as Frederick Busch and Joyce Carol Oates." -The Atlanta Journal-Constitution "A brisk dip into the ice-cold waters of schizophrenia, nymphomania, and serial murder... A vivid and deeply scary tale" -Kirkus

"Dobyns reveals the dark impulses and tangled relationships that lie underneath.... An unusually thoughtful psychological thriller." -Booklist
show more

About Author Stephen Dobyns

Stephen Dobyns is the author of more than thirty novels and poetry collections, including Cold Dog Soup, Cemetery Nights, and The Burn Palace. Among his many honors are a Melville Cane Award, Pushcart Prizes, a National Poetry Series prize, and three National Endowment for the Arts fellowships. His novels have been translated into twenty languages, and his poetry has appeared in the Best American Poems anthology. Dobyns teaches creative writing at Warren Wilson College and has taught at the University of Iowa, Sarah Lawrence College, and Syracuse University.
show more

Rating details

2,193 ratings
3.64 out of 5 stars
5 21% (465)
4 38% (831)
3 29% (629)
2 9% (193)
1 3% (75)
Book ratings by Goodreads
Goodreads is the world's largest site for readers with over 50 million reviews. We're featuring millions of their reader ratings on our book pages to help you find your new favourite book. Close X