Wide Open by Deborah Coates is the first book in a series of “startlingly original” (Booklist) contemporary dark fantasy novels set against the sweeping prairies and desolate byways of the American Midwest, creating “a rural backwater where the normal and paranormal seamlessly merge.” (Publishers Weekly)
When Sergeant Hallie Michaels comes back to South Dakota from Afghanistan on ten days' compassionate leave, her sister Dell's ghost is waiting at the airport to greet her.
The sheriff says that Dell's death was suicide, but Hallie doesn't believe it. Something happened or Dell's ghost wouldn't still be hanging around. Friends and family, mourning Dell's loss, think Hallie's letting her grief interfere with her judgment.
The one person who seems willing to listen is the deputy sheriff, Boyd Davies, who shows up everywhere and helps when he doesn't have to.
As Hallie asks more questions, she attracts new ghosts, women who disappeared without a trace. Soon, someone's trying to beat her up, burn down her father's ranch, and stop her investigation.
Hallie's going to need Boyd, her friends, and all the ghosts she can find to defeat an enemy who has an unimaginable ancient power at his command.
Wide Open has been nominated for the Bram Stoker Award for Superior Achievement in a First Novel, appeared on Locus Magazine’s Recommended Reading List for first novels, and was chosen as a Tor.com Reviewer’s Choice Pick for Favorite Book of the year. The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction claimed that it is “one of the best first novels I’ve read in a long time” and Library Journal agrees that “fans of urban fantasies should enjoy the kick-ass [heroine].”
Praise for Wide Open:
“Wide Open is a good read—full of sound and fury, ghosts and fire. A tough, tenacious heroine who relies on guts and brains rather than awesome cosmic superpowers. I loved it. Deborah Coates is a storyteller in the best sense of the word.”
—Patricia Briggs, New York Times bestselling author of River Marked
“Twin Peaks meets Dean Koontz... Deborah Coates offers a pitch-perfect sense of place, an uncanny knack for dialogue, and a complex heroine who’s mad, sad, tenacious, and tough—exactly the person you’d pick to investigate your own murder.”
—Sharon Shinn, author of Troubled Waters
“A great blast of fresh air. From the intimate story of a young woman haunted by forces both natural and supernatural, to the grand scope of godlike elementals, Deborah Coates demonstrates a sure storytelling hand.... Wide Open is the impressive debut of a distinct new voice in fantasy.”
—Greg van Eekhout, author of Norse Code
“Wide Open lures us into the dangerous world of Sergeant Hallie Michaels and her alarmingly real ghosts.... Vivid, suspenseful, and filled with intensely convincing characters, this novel is an unforgettable homecoming.”
—A. M. Dellamonica, award-winning author of Indigo Springs