By Denise Mina
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Dr. Margo Dunlop is at a crossroads. Her adoptive mom just passed away, and Margo misses her so much she can't begin to empty the house-or, it seems, get her brother on the phone. Not to mention she's newly single, secretly pregnant, and worried about her best friend's dangerous relationship. In an effort to cheer herself up she goes in search of her birth mother. Instead she finds Nikki, her mother's sister. Aunt Nikki isn't what Margo expects, and she brings upsetting news: Margo's mother is dead. Worse, she was murdered years ago, and her killer is still at large—and sending Nikki threatening letters.
Margo is torn. Should she stay out of this mess, or try to find justice? But then Margo receives a letter, too. Someone out there has been waiting and watching, and in Margo sees the spitting image of her mother . . .
Darkly funny and deeply affecting, The Less Dead is a sharply modern new thriller from the bestselling author of Conviction, and a surprisingly moving story of daughters and mothers, secrets and choices, and how the search for the truth—and a long-hidden killer—will lead one woman to find herself.
HOPE DIES SLOWLY BUT it does die. Even though it’s obvious that Margo Dunlop has been stood up she can’t seem to make herself leave. She’s a doctor and well knows how stubborn and pernicious hope can be. Without confirmation, in the absence of direct contradiction, hope will linger long beyond the point of being useful. The speed of death is often determined by the degree of initial investment.
She has been waiting for an hour and forty minutes, alone in this odd-shaped room, listening for the lift and staring at the back of the door, willing it to open and change her life. She has come to meet her birth family for the first time. Not her birth mother though, it turns out that Susan died a long time ago. How wasn’t specified in the contact letters but Margo very much needs to know. She’s a doctor. She’s pregnant and afraid of her own genetic legacy. She has suspicions.
She’s too invested. She shouldn’t have come here. She should have been more careful.
The birth family are very late. Deep down Margo knows that they’re probably not coming now but she’s trying not to get angry. She’s still clinging to an outside possibility that they have a good reason for being late–a train crash or a stopped watch, as if that still happens. If they turn up late and blameless she doesn’t want the meeting to turn into a fight about punctuality. There are questions she needs answered.
She’s waiting in a room at the top of an old office block in the heart of Glasgow, just off George Square. It’s hot and smells weird, as if something is rotting deep in the fabric of the building. The adoption charity have tried to make the room homely but the furnishings are cheap and somehow ominous, like a police reconstruction of a family sitting room where something dreadful happened. There’s a sagging sofa with a low back, a coffee table with a box of tissues on it and a dining-room chair. An Ikea bookcase holds torn children’s books and a sticky game of Hungry Hungry Hippos with no balls. She’s been here long enough to look.
The shape of the room bothers her too. It’s square with a low ceiling of glass squares, all painted opaque with white emulsion. She thinks the inside of the building has been gutted and modernised and this must have been the top of a grand old staircase, that what she’s sitting under is the old skylight. Thinking about it makes her feel the void beneath her and her shin bones tingle, like a memory of falling.
Margo found the contact letters from Nikki hidden deep in a drawer in her mum’s bedside table. The first was dated several years back, the latest just a few months ago. They were addressed to Margo, care of Janette and asked Margo to please write back. Nikki said she was desperate to see her because she really needed Margo’s help with something.
Janette was dying and rarely conscious when Margo found the bundle of letters. She has tried to understand why Janette didn’t pass them on. Nikki did sound mad, all that stuff about ‘Glasgow’s Jack the Ripper’ hunting her for thirty years, but Margo is less interested in the substance of her delusions than the tone. Margo’s not entirely sure of her own mental health. She wants to know if Nikki was schizotypal, if there is a genetic likelihood of her getting it. But Nikki’s not coming.
Margo looks at the back of the little door to the room and imagines what she would look like to a stranger walking in. She’s tall and the ceiling is low, her hands are on her knees, feet are flat on the floor. She’d look intimidating and monumental, like a statue of Queen Victoria discovered in a crate. She attempts a welcoming smile but tension instantly warps it into a growl.
But no one’s coming anyway. She drops the scary smile and lets her face idle in neutral. No one. She picks up her coat from the settee and sits it on her knee, a first move towards putting it on.
Now she’ll never know what happened to Susan or if she gets her height from her, if she’s mixed race. Her hair says yes but her skin tone says no. She won’t get to ask anything. No one is coming.
So bloody rude. Selfish. What kind of people agree to a meeting this emotionally charged, pick the place and the time, and then don’t turn up? She checks the time on her phone; it’s an hour and fifty minutes now. She’s on an indignant roll but gets distracted by an unanswered text from an hour ago.
Her best friend Lilah asked:
How about now, lambchop, anything yet?
Margo still hasn’t replied. She kept hoping to have a better answer.
A very careful knock is followed by the little door being opened. It’s Tracey, the counsellor who gave Margo a long talk about limiting her expectations on the way in. Margo dislikes Tracey for reasons that she can’t quite fathom.
Maybe it’s the tense situation. Maybe it’s Tracey’s belligerent walk. She sways her shoulders and enters the room belly first as if she’s pregnant and wants to talk about it, or is fat and doesn’t. She has thick glasses that distort her big green eyes and wears a dress with a low neckline displaying four inches of cleavage. A gold chain with a green pendant surfs her record-breakingly long boobs, bobbing around, going under sometimes only to be unthinkingly fished out by Tracey’s chubby forefinger.
‘Hello again,’ she whispers as she comes in, head tilted sympathetically, lips pressed tight in a very sad sorry as she sits on the sofa and clasps her hands together. She’s going to tell Margo to give up and get out. She’ll dress it up but that’s what she’ll mean.
Tracey doesn’t get to speak before Margo blurts that she’ll just wait for another half-hour, if that’s OK?
‘Well, see now,’ drawls Tracey in a breathy Northern Irish accent that sounds like a melancholy old song, ‘the problem with that is we’re supposed to actually shut the office in a wee ten minutes. I sort of just wanted to have a wee chat with you before that happened so that you don’t leave feeling that you might have liked to have talked to someone? Would you maybe like a wee chat about it? About your feelings?’
Every sentence ends in a tonal upswing, every statement is littered with infuriating conditionals–maybes and minimisations and perhapses. But Margo is a doctor and has been on the receiving end of enough impotent rage from patients to know that Tracey isn’t to blame for how she feels.
‘I’ll just wait on for the last ten minutes, if you don’t mind.’ Margo says it softly, overcompensating for her white-hot fury. ‘At least then I’ll know for sure that Nikki didn’t come. It’s just ten minutes. I may as well.’
‘Aye, yeah, may as well, grand, grand. May as well.’ Tracey pats her own knee while looking at Margo’s. ‘You don’t owe them anything, you know? You’ve given them a good long time to get here. You’ve done what you can. You don’t have to wait.’
Margo doesn’t know why Tracey is using the plural. Is she being formal? Or does Tracey know something Margo doesn’t? Is Nikki trans, or has Margo just been stood up by several people? Is that better or worse?
‘Well, I’ll wait for the ten minutes.’
‘If that’s all right.’
Tracey nods and smiles vaguely. She air-rescues the green stone from the ravine of her cleavage but doesn’t move to leave. She’s trying to be kind, waiting with her and giving Margo space to talk about her feelings if she wants to. Margo doesn’t trust her.
What Margo does say is that it’s very quiet in the office, is it always like this? Tracey tells her that, to be honest about it, they don’t really do reconciliation mediation very much any more. They used to but people tend to trace their birth families on Facebook. She wouldn’t recommend that. That can go very, very wrong. Being stood up isn’t the worst, believe-you-her. You’ve no idea. Honestly.
Margo was still clinging to the faintest possibility of car crashes or excitement-induced heart attacks but Tracey knows no one is coming. She works here, she’s seen it all before. Margo is suddenly so angry that she feels sick and Tracey sees that. She reaches over and squeezes Margo’s hand pityingly, which makes it worse.
Margo puts her own hand over Tracey’s and squeezes back, maybe a little too hard, and begins to rage-cry. Lilah calls this the ugliest cry of all.
Tracey says kind things: listen-you-to-her-now, you’re all right, you’re all right, now. It could be worse.
Margo yodels: ‘What could possibly be worse than this?’
Tracey talks softly: this is not the worst I’ve seen, not by a long way. It can go very wrong, especially if there isn’t a mediator. The state of some of them! Wouldn’t you look in the mirror and wash your hair? They’ve had some right arseholes in here. Tracey’s being a lot more frank than she was on the way in. It can be dreadful and she should know because she’s been through this herself, oh yeah, and that is why she works here, as a volunteer, because of her own terrible, terrible experience.
She looks at Margo, waiting for a prompt but Margo doesn’t care what happened to Tracey. This is happening to her right now and she’s overwhelmed.
It takes a moment for Tracey to realise that she isn’t going to ask about it. She blinks, shuts that box of horrors and moves on, talking in abstracts: when people meet on the Internet, well, a lot of people are far too young. Don’t all teenagers resent their parents? Tracey knows she did. That’s part of growing up, isn’t it? It’s tempting to look for a different family to connect with. There’s often an initial delight because, you know, they’ve kind of solved a mystery, haven’t they? Everyone is focused on what they have in common and they ignore the differences, points of conflict, all the while being that wee bit too open with each other. And the birth families, huh! Well, that’s a whole other barrel of fish. Most families have stuff going on, don’t get her wrong, but sometimes they’re just dealing with bad people who want money, for example. There have been situations… stalking, police involvement…
Tracey’s eyes well up. This is her story. Margo didn’t ask when prompted but Tracey has managed to share it anyway. She’s making this about her. Her chin twitches, she’s about to cry and that’s it for Margo. She holds up both hands.
‘Tracey, no, look, I’m really sorry–this is all too much for me already. My adoptive mum died recently, I’ve split up with my partner…’ She stops short of blurting that she’s pregnant. ‘Can you leave me alone?’
Tracey takes it well. She says of course, no problem at all, take your time, and she gets up and goes out, shutting the door behind her carefully as if she’s trying not to wake a sleeping baby.
Margo covers her face and sobs. She’s been fantasising about this moment since she was tiny. She’d rather that it went horribly wrong than that no one turned up. She wants to know what Susan died of, do they have genetic mental health issues, she needs to know for her own sake, for the baby’s sake. Are they prone to postnatal depression? But she also wants to know more mundane things: did Susan want to keep her? Did she try to get her back? Are her birth family rich or poor, Catholic or Jewish, Irish or Romany? Are they musical? Athletic? Margo has always felt diluted by possibilities. Splintered. She imagined all of these alternative selves existed in parallel worlds and these other lives have meant so much to her. They fostered possibilities and comforted her when things were miserable at home.
But she’ll never get to ask. Nikki isn’t coming.
The hope she harboured is finally gone and she realises that she shouldn’t have come here looking for answers to all of that. She shouldn’t have come here at all. It’s too much for her right now.
It’s over. Fuck it and fuck them. Fuck death and her ex-partner Joe and the smell in here and Tracey’s mad intonation. Fuck everything. From now on it’s just Margo and the Peanut in her uterus.
Tonight she’s going to cheer herself up, go to the movies alone and see something with explosions in it, she’s going to drink a bucket of fizzy sugar and eat a family bag of chocolate raisins. She stands up, pulling her hairpins out and scratching at her scalp, shaking her hair loose, letting it stand up and stick out and do what it wants. She rubs her hot eyes, smearing mascara down one side of her face.
This is what she looks like when there is a change in the energy outside the door. She feels it before she hears it: the muffled shriek of a lift arriving.
A SUDDEN COMMOTION OUTSIDE, a shrill voice saying indistinct words and Tracey calling a nervous ‘hello?’ from her office as the new voice cuts high and turns towards the door.
The door is hurriedly opened before Tracey can gallop over from her desk and a very small woman steps into the room and presents herself.
‘Oh my God!’ shrieks Nikki. ‘I can’t believe what you’re wearing, Patsy!’
There’s a lot going on at one time: Patsy is the name on Margo’s birth certificate, the name given to her before she was handed over at two days old. Margo isn’t wearing anything extraordinary, just a cotton shirt and black jeans, so that’s odd. She’s also distracted by Nikki’s voice which is not loud or angry, just a very particular nervous timbre, pitched to be heard over blaring televisions and people screaming at each other. It’s a voice she hears patients use in the surgery, the voice of very anxious people and mothers who can’t control their kids.
‘Hello?’ says Margo. ‘Are you Nikki?’
‘Is that you?’ says Nikki.
They examine each other with the bold regard of small children meeting for the first time.
They look nothing alike. Nikki is small and blonde and underweight. Margo is tall with thick black hair, deep-set brown eyes and pearlescent skin.
Nikki’s clothes are strange, she looks as if she is wearing a costume. Everything she has on is brand new and slightly too big for her: an immaculate grey trackie top straight from the packet, cuffs rolled up, matching lumpy trackie trousers. Over the pristine grey she wears a beige overcoat with a dangling cloth belt that has never been tied. She looks as if she’s had an accident and been given someone else’s clothes to wear home. Such plain clothes don’t really fit on a woman like Nikki because she’s strikingly good-looking. She has good bones, she’s graceful and moves with the consciousness of her core that dancers sometimes have: Margo is struck by the slow ease of her long neck, her spine snakes as she slides into the room, her hand movements are eloquent. None of it seems affected either but unconscious and natural.
Her blonde hair is pulled back tight to the nape of her neck. She wears no jewellery and her face is heavily powdered, like the first frame in a YouTube make-up tutorial. Margo thinks it was because she was coming to meet her. It wasn’t. She’ll soon find out that Nikki has been in court all day and her dull, asexual appearance is a pointed message to old acquaintances and adversaries that her life is very different now, that she is very different now.
She’s trembling with nerves but glides across the room, places her arms around Margo’s upper arms and gives her an awkward, obligation-hug. Margo is suddenly afraid that Nikki might cry. She sees a lot of emotional displays in the surgery and knows that expressions of emotion and depth of feeling are not the same thing, that sometimes they’re opposites. She’s suspicious of big dramas and, if she’s being honest, finds them a bit vulgar.
Not knowing what else to do, she reciprocates the hug, keeping ahold of Nikki for slightly too long. Reticent, they both bend away from the embrace, keeping their faces clear and throwing themselves off balance so they have to sway from foot to foot like crabs having a fight.
Finally they let go and look again. Margo suddenly sees her own face.
She sees deep-set brown eyes and a pointed chin. She sees good skin under all that powder and stray eyelashes in the inner corner of eyes that mirror her own. She sees things she has never noticed about herself before: eyebrows that threaten to arc into a Ming the Merciless point in the middle, an uneven lip fold.
Margo looks at these echoes of her own face and feels herself change. All the splinter-Margos come together and form a whole, taking up more space in the room. She is a balloon being blown up for the first time, a line drawing becoming three-dimensional.
Nikki sees the likeness too. For a still moment there is nothing in the room but two sets of the same eyes, drinking each other in.
They sit down with their knees touching, Nikki on the sofa, Margo on the office chair. Tracey takes a seat further along the sofa and sits back, a referee giving the fighters room to hurt each other, smiling and tipping her head in a way that feels phoney. Margo senses that she isn’t quite wishing them well and tries to bring Tracey into the conversation.
‘Weren’t you about to shut?’
‘Totally happy to wait on.’ Tracey gives a slow blink, showing she is being patient but says to Nikki, ‘You are nearly two hours late.’
‘Got caught up.’
Margo asks, ‘In what?’
‘Stuff. I’s waiting for a thing to start,’ says Nikki, ‘but they’ve never called it and they’ve never said they weren’t going to call it until like ten minutes ago. I couldn’t know.’ She shakes her head as if she can’t be bothered talking about that and looks at Margo’s hair. ‘Our Susan had mad big hair like that. Thick black hair. That’s how she got her nickname. “Hairy” they called her.’
Margo grimaces. Hairy is old-lady derogatory Glaswegian slang for a rough, low-class girl. It’s a hangover from Edwardian times when low-born girls didn’t wear hats. Nikki can see that Margo doesn’t like it.
‘No, I know,’ she says, yanking her coat shut defensively. ‘I know calling her Hairy isn’t very nice but we all had daft names back then, it was how it was. They used to call me “Goofy”. My teeth used to stick right out.’ She salutes from her top lip, showing Margo what they used to be like. Margo only now notices that she has false teeth. ‘Yeah. Got smashed out by a boyfriend.’ Nikki flinches, knowing she’s getting everything wrong. ‘I mean, thanks actually, because he’s done us a favour in a way.’ She looks at Margo imploringly.
‘What was Susan like?’
‘Wee. Smart as a whip. Funny…’ She smiles at the memory of her young sister but her expression collapses, suddenly desolate, and her eyes well up. She whispers, ‘She was awful bad with the drugs. Heroin. She was small. She never had a chance,’ and blushes, blinking back tears as her eyes dart back and forth to Margo, taking her in by bits: hair, clothes, posture, handbag.
This isn’t going very well. The class divide between them is glaring and it shames Nikki. It’s a source of intense discomfort to Margo too, because she doesn’t like to think about class or how privileged she is. She just thinks she’s normal.
There are scars between the knuckles on the back of Nikki’s hands, emphatic white against the pale pink skin, healed track marks: white station stops on a map of her circulatory system. She has been injecting but stopped a long time ago. She doesn’t have the sleepiness of a methadone user or the drowsy disgust of someone on Valium. She doesn’t seem to be on anything else.
‘I was so sorry to hear that she had died.’
Nikki drops her hands and nods and says, ‘Awful sad.’
Margo suspects a heroin overdose. Glasgow suffered an epidemic of overdoses in the years around her birth and now she’s seen Nikki’s hands it seems even more likely. She hopes it is that and not suicide or anything to do with catastrophically poor genetic mental health.
‘You didn’t say how she died in your letters.’
Nikki either cringes or winks. Margo hopes it’s a cringe. ‘I didn’t think it would be right…’
‘Can I ask you something quite frank?’
Nikki nods that it would be OK.
‘Did you have a heroin addiction too?’
Nikki glances at Tracey and suppresses a smirk. It wriggles around behind her lips but her eyes are steely. ‘Why ye asking me that?’
‘Your hands. I know you’ve been using intravenous drugs, I can see that you’re not on anything now.’
Nikki tugs her coat sleeves down and over her hands and tips her chin defiantly. ‘Clean and sober four years.’ Her eyes are angry that Margo asked, more so because it was in front of Tracey.
‘Four years? That’s amazing,’ says Margo. ‘Hard work.’
‘Using is harder work. If you could harness the work ethic of addicts Glasgow would be a paradise.’ Tickled by her own wit Nikki smiles, defensive walls down for a moment.
‘I’ve seen a lot of addicts in the surgery,’ says Margo. ‘I have got some small idea of how momentous what you’ve done is.’
‘You’re a doctor. You’re amazing.’
Margo isn’t really amazing. She’s not coping very well. She had a bit of a breakdown after Janette died and has been avoiding work ever since, afraid to admit to having fragile mental health in case she never gets to work again. So she bats the compliment back, ‘No, Nikki, you’re amazing. Four years is amazing. Thanks so much for coming. And for writing.’
‘But I’ve been writing to you for years and you didn’t reply.’
Margo doesn’t want to blame Janette for hiding the letters but can’t think what else to say. She shrugs. ‘My mum–my other mum. She didn’t pass the letters on. I don’t really know why. She died quite recently and that’s when I found them.’
She expects Nikki to ask about Janette, who was she, did she do a good job bringing Margo up, what was her childhood like, but Nikki doesn’t. Her eyes dart quickly to the side, flicking the unwelcome topic off a mental dishcloth.
‘I was thinking you didn’t want anything to do with me,’ sighs Nikki. ‘But the timing of this couldn’t be better. See how you’re a doctor? The case right now… you can help.’
Nikki waits for Margo to ask about this case right now that is clearly so important to her. She watches Margo’s mouth, slowly nodding. But Nikki didn’t ask about Janette and that’s important to Margo. She’s been waiting for two hours. She doesn’t know why she has to be the compliant one all the time.
‘Anyway, Nikki, I’ve got so much I want to ask. When did Susan die?’
‘How long after I was born?’
‘Not long.’ Nikki is not pleased about the change of subject. Her eyes harden.
‘And she gave me up two days after I was born?’
‘No, she gave you up right away.’ She can see that goes down badly. ‘Look, Susan wanted to keep you, but the way things were… she’d a whole lot of problems, drugs. Bad. So… there it is.’
‘I’m sorry. I phrased that badly. I’m not reproaching anyone.’
Nikki nods and blinks and looks at Margo’s shirt then half smiles and changes the subject, ‘OK, look, I need to ask: are you psychic?’
‘Am I what?’
‘Psychic. There’s a lot of that in our family. Seeing the future, stuff like that?’
‘No, I’m not, I’m afraid.’
‘Oh.’ Nikki is disappointed. ‘Shame, because the sight does run through us, very strong. I wondered if that’s how you became a doctor.’
‘No, I’m, um…’
‘I mean, I’m asking because–see that? What you’re wearing?’ She points at her red shirt and black jeans. ‘That’s a bit psychic. Look –’ She reaches into her shoulder bag and takes out an old yellowed photograph. ‘I brought this to give you. This is Susan.’
She hands her the small picture.
A long time ago Susan Brodie stands in a living room, in front of a sideboard and a painting of an Alpine scene, and grins into a camera. She has a more symmetrical nose than Margo and a twisted right front tooth but she has Margo’s bushy black hair, her eyes, her skin, her face. She wears a silky red shirt with a big collar and a black pencil skirt, like a waitress in a steakhouse. It’s basically what Margo is wearing now. Margo is entranced by the picture.
‘I know. See the clothes, see what I mean?’
Nikki giggles, delighted. ‘That’s your mum.’
‘That’s my mum,’ echoes Margo.
They sit with that for a while.
‘That’s for you. You keep that,’ whispers Nikki.
Margo puts it away in an inner pocket in her handbag and sees Nikki’s eyes following it. Giving up the picture is a loss. People didn’t used to take a lot of photos. She thanks Nikki but it doesn’t feel like enough.
‘I’m sorry if I sound dismissive, Nikki, it’s just that I’m a scientist and I don’t really believe in that stuff.’ Her scepticism is not well received. She tries to soften it. ‘Do you think you are psychic?’ She’s wondering if she hears voices.
‘Oh, no,’ Nikki says, serious, ‘I don’t have the gift. It’s just–we really need a doctor and then you are one. I thought you’d known, sort of psychically…’
That statement doesn’t seem to go anywhere.
‘I see,’ says Margo, ‘sorry, it’s just, as I say, I’m a scientist.’
‘Oh, you know everything then.’
They stare at each other unkindly and Margo breaks first. ‘Did Susan know who my dad was?’
Hesitation. ‘Yes.’ Slow blink.
It feels as if Nikki is about to fabricate a lie. There is no father’s name on Margo’s birth certificate.
‘I mean it’s OK if she didn’t –’
The name sounds fictional. ‘Right? But she didn’t put that name on my birth certificate.’
‘You wouldn’t want his name.’ Nikki can’t look at her. ‘She’s done you a favour there. He’s probably dead now anyway.’
A coldness settles between them. Margo doesn’t know what she’s done wrong. She wants to know if Susan died of something hereditary but she doesn’t know how to ask now.
‘I’m so sorry.’
‘Oh aye, yeah. She was it for me. She was my wee sister. She was the world to me and I was it for her. Know what I mean?’
‘How did she die…?’
‘Got murdered.’ She says it carelessly, as if they’re talking about a lost scarf.
- “Riveting . . . Mina is matchless at building suspicion and creeping dread. A bold and bracing twist on the fallen-woman-as-victim story.”—Kirkus Reviews
- "Gasps are inescapable."—People
- “The Less Dead is at once a gripping thriller and an examination, and vindication, of a group of women who are often faceless, unsympathetic victims.”—BookPage
- "The menacing atmosphere . . . effectively supports the novel's themes of reconciliation, class divides, and violence against women. Mina is a master of the genre, with wide appeal, especially for those who appreciate character-driven stories with literary weight, like those of Tana French, Karin Slaughter, and Laura Lippman."—Booklist (starred review)
- “As the plot gains speed to a startling and abrupt end, readers will be left agasp and wanting more."—Library Journal
- "The Less Dead isn't a typical thriller. At its heart, this is a story of mothers and daughters, and the ties that bind them.”—PopSugar
PRAISE FOR DENISE MINA
"One of the most talented, most daring, most humane writers of the past twenty years."—A.J. Finn, author of The Woman in the Window
- "Denise Mina is superbly talented -- witty, original, and a mastermind of mystery. Absolutely terrific."—Hank Phillippi Ryan, national bestselling author of Trust Me
- "If you haven't read Denise Mina yet, you should."—Alafair Burke, New York Times bestselling author of The Better Sister
- "Denise Mina brilliantly manages to be funny, heart-wrenching, gut-punching and addictive all at once."—Nicci French, author of the international betseller Day of the Dead
- On Sale
- Aug 24, 2021
- Page Count
- 352 pages
- Mulholland Books