As a young boy Derrick listened to his grandfather’s spooky tales of “The Ragman,” an old junk dealer and boogieman of sorts to the children in the neighborhood who he claimed had followed him throughout his entire life and stalked him from the depths of his own worst nightmares. But as an alcoholic ravaged with senility, his grandfather’s stories were dismissed as delusions.
When years later, murder comes to Derrick’s small hometown, he and his best friend Caleb—both teenage outcasts—discover that the killer is a hobo dressed in rags who rides the rails in and out of town when committing his crimes. They dub him “The Ragman” unaware of just how accurate that nickname may be, but the murders are never solved.
As time passes, Derrick weds and settles into a troubled marriage while Caleb moves to New York City and spirals into drug addiction and madness. Thirty years later, in a dying seaside resort town, the killings have begun again. Has The Ragman returned, or is something even more sinister taking place?
As Derrick and Caleb meet at the scene of the latest grisly murders, they soon find themselves confronted with an unsolved mystery that has haunted them for decades and an eternal evil they may never be able to escape. The rain falls, darkness descends, a train’s whistle blows, and the Ragman begins to dream…
Dreams the Ragman chronicles Derrick's lifetime struggle with the mysterious and evil ragman. As a boy, the ragman came for his grandfather. As a teenager, his best friend Caleb. When Derrick begins investigating brutal murders that appear all too familiar, will the ragman come for him, too?
I loved the atmospheric and creepy tone of Dreams the Ragman. I found myself engrossed in the suspense and mystery of the ragman. There were times I wished the terror I felt would play out a little longer, but the build up and tension made for a fantastic read.
Greg F. Gifune has two novellas in Delirium's 2011 novella series: Dreams the Ragman with an April 2011 release date and Apartment Seven with a September 2011 release date. I will definitely be checking out his next release.
Review: Beyond the Door by Jeffrey Thomas
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Review copy provided by publisher