By Jenny Kiefer
This nail-biting, bone-chilling survival horror novel is inspired by the infamous Dyatlov Pass incident, and is perfect for fans of Alma Katsu and Showtime's Yellowjackets. This is going to be Dylan's big break. Her friend Clay, a geology student, has discovered an untouched cliff face in the Kentucky wilderness, and she is going to be the first person to climb it. Together with Clay, his research assistant Sylvia, and Dylan's boyfriend Luke, she is going to document her achievement on Instagram and finally cement her place as the next rising star in rock climbing. Six months later, three bodies are discovered in the trees just off the highway, near where the rock climbers were last seen. All are in various states of decay: one body a stark, white skeleton; the second a mummy-like husk of dehydrated skin; and the third a fresh but mutilated corpse with the tongue, eyes, ears, and fingers removed. But Dylan is still missing. Followers of her Instagram account report disturbing livestreams, and some even claim to have caught glimpses of her vanishing into the thick woods, but no trace of her–dead or alive–has been discovered. Were the climbers murdered? Did they succumb to cannibalism? Or are their impossible bodies the work of an even more sinister force? Is Dylan still alive, and does she hold the answers? This page-turning debut will have you racing towards the inevitable conclusion. DEBUT AUTHOR WITH BIG POTENTIAL: Jenny Kiefer is poised to be a rising star in the horror community. She’s an award-winning writer who was selected as a 2021 PitchWars mentee, is an active member of the Horror Writers’ Association, and regularly connects with other horror writers and readers on her active and growing Twitter account. She is an avid rock climber herself. Jenny is brimming with ideas for her next book and is excited to make her mark on horror as a queer woman. RISING HORROR INFLUENCER: Jenny is also the founder/owner of Butcher Cabin Books, an indie horror bookstore she and her mother opened in Louisville in October 2022. The soft opening drew lines around the block and earned coverage from NPR, Shelf Awareness, online support from Patton Oswalt, Nightfire Books, Clay McLeod Chapman, Alma Katsu, and many more. CROSS-GENRE APPEAL: The book has a classic survival horror story framework but veers into supernatural thriller territory as the climbers begin to have horrific encounters with previous victims of the valley. Inspired by the Dyatlov Pass incident, the book will also appeal to readers of retellings of real-life horror stories, fans of true crime, and people who are interested in outdoor adventures. HOT SUBGENRE: Survival horror is an extremely hot subgenre of horror film and TV (see Yellowjackets, The Ritual, Devil’s Pass, Wrong Turn, Preservation, Killing Ground, The Descent and more), but it’s underrepresented in horror fiction, and this book will help fill that gap in the market. PAGE TURNING READING EXPERIENCE: The POV cycles between the four members of the hiking party: Dylan, Clay, Sylvia, and Luke, amping up the suspense as they begin to turn on each other and creating a compulsively readable feel. MOVIE ADAPTATION POTENTIAL: The material is well-suited to adaptation and the book has early film interest, including from the writer of Trollhunter and Snowpiercer.