July 05, 2004 12:00 PM

By Greg Bear

Science fiction writer Greg Bear dives into the horror genre with this startlingly original ghost story: Peter Russell, an erstwhile pornographer, sees ghosts after using a cell phone that taps into a new bandwidth, a so-called “dead line.” Seems the bandwidth is the portal that spirits use on their way to the afterlife; when it’s jammed by human chatter, hell breaks loose.

The plot is ludicrous, but Bear keeps readers engaged with quirky, credible characters and a shot of pathos. Atmospheric, alarming and weirdly sad, Dead Lines is haunting.


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