Bayou Dogs (The Haunting Of Derek Stone)
by Tony Abbott
Review by Gayle Surrette
Scholastic Mass Market Paperback ISBN/ITEM#: 9780545034302
Date: 01 March 2009 List Price $4.99 Amazon US / Amazon UK / Show Official Info /
Starting off right where we left off with City Of The Dead, we follow Derek as his brother Ronny tries to protect him from the undead. The problem is that Ronny is sharing his consciousness with Virgil Black who died years ago. And oh, yeah, Ronny's dead too. Derek has been told that he must return to the bayou where he almost died as a child and he must also talk with the girl who survived the crash when she wakes from her coma. If Derek fails, the dead will return and take over the world.
It's a lot of pressure to put on a fourteen-year-old chubby kid who has just lost his brother and father in an accident. He's not a hero. Derek is just the person who stands between the good and evil in the world. He can hear them with the ear that has been deaf since his childhood accident that nearly killed him. He knows where he has to go, but he's afraid. And who wouldn't be?
Once again Abbott hooks you in the beginning and keeps the action ramped up to keep those pages turning. Derek makes you believe in the impossible. He's not a superboy, not by a far shot -- he's a normal teen who doesn't particularly care for sports, likes reading, and doesn't have much imagination. All of that just makes it even more credible when Derek, using logical deduction, decides that there are dead people wandering the streets and that the people inside those bodies aren't the people they belong to. He knows someone has to do something and unfortunately, that someone is him.
While much of the plot is telegraphed by the descriptions, it's still a fun adventure and it's not over yet. He comes close, so close but now we must patiently wait to find out what happens next. Abbott has certainly mastered the cliff-hanger ending.