The Dead Game

The Dead Game - Susanne Leist

The Dead Game begins with an incredibly frightening scenario -- a couple is trying to rescue their children from a house that seems to be a living creature with an intense hatred of humans! I loved this introduction -- it really hits with a bang! Leist immediately throws you into the action -- and I was legitimately scared for the poor family despite not knowing anything else about them. 

Based on the introduction, I really expected the book to be about a haunted house that the townspeople were trying to appease or maintain. But Leist throws you for a loop when she introduces vampires. I definitely did not see this twist coming. From there, the struggle between good vampires and bad vampires is action packed and quick paced. 

And the surprises don't end there. Several other supernatural beings make an appearance. I kind of wish that she would have split this book into multiples. I really wanted to learn more about these other beings, but felt like they weren't given enough attention or explanation. 

And I'm really curious about where Leist will take this world she created. The ending leaves the reader with questions and it's obvious that someone is not who they claim to be. This revelation definitely left me unsettled, wondering what would happen next. 

Some Bio Information

Susanne Leist graduated with an M.B.A. in Finance. Wherever life has led her, through the hectic commodities' markets or the number-crunching field of budgeting, she's continued to read and daydream. Unbeknownst to her, she had been pursuing her dream all along, her dream of putting her words down on paper for everyone to enjoy. She lives on Long Island with her husband, two daughters, and Maltese.

Her first book, The Dead Game, is a paranormal thriller with humans, vampires, and vampire derivatives. Her goal has been to write a book different than the usual vampire story or murder mystery. She wanted a murder mystery with victims, clues, and suspects. She created that and much more. The book has revolving rooms, traps, falling cages, and anything her active imagination could create. The Dead Game is a fun ride into the realms of the supernatural.


1. What character do you relate to the most in The Dead Game? 

Linda is the main character and she thinks with my voice. She falls for Todd, a dark and brooding character. At first, she’s too shy to do anything about it. Slowly she steps out from her shell to confront him about the evil in town. I believe he respects her more for doing this.

2. Where do you draw your inspiration for you writing? 

I’ve always loved to read murder mysteries. I’ve read all types of mysteries, from Agatha Christie to Sherlock Holmes. In recent years, I’ve begun to watch TV shows with paranormal themes. 

It’s hard to find books that combine paranormal and mystery. That’s why I decided to write a paranormal, murder mystery of my own. My book, The Dead Game, has dead bodies and suspects like a traditional murder mystery. However, it also has humans, vampires, and vampire derivatives. And don’t forget the haunted house—we must have one of these.

3. At what age did you decide you wanted to become a writer? 

I decided at the ripe old age of forty six to write my first book. I’ve always had an over-active imagination. I wanted to put it to good use. It took time to plan out the book. It took even more time to figure out how to make my characters move and speak. It’s not as easy as it looks. Seven years later, The Dead Game was born.

4. Describe the perfect setting for writing. 

I don’t believe the setting is as important as the way I feel at the time. I have to feel relaxed with my mind open for ideas. A good night’s sleep is always helpful. A ringing phone can be disturbing. 

My favorite time to write is late at night. I’m more relaxed with fewer disturbances. The later for me, the better; my defenses are down late at night.

5. There is obviously much more in store for Todd and Linda – can you give us a teaser of what’s to come? 

Todd and Linda have only just begun their romance and adventures. The second book opens with a surprise or two. Someone returns from the dead to disrupt their happy life and the lives of everyone else in town. Oasis will never be a true oasis or will it? 

6. What author has influenced you the most? 

My favorite author is Brad Meltzer.  He is the one who inspired me to write my book. His books have likeable characters. They are people, like you and me, who get themselves into trouble. The interesting part is how they get themselves out of their convoluted problems and schemes.

7. If you could travel anywhere, where would you go?

I would love to travel to Greece. I could imagine myself sunning on a boat with blue water all around me and the sun shining down from the deep blue sky. I look ahead and see the pretty white buildings with colorful flowers in their pretty yards. I’m ready to go.