Dead Hand

By: Sharyn McCrumb

Star Rating:



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Rattler works for a failing NASCAR outfit that's about to close up shop. They desperately need a win in order to stay in business, but without the backing of a major sponsor, they don't have the money to create a state-of-the-art operation. Desperate to turn things around, Rattler uses magic to resurrect the Champ, a former driver from years ago who showed a great deal of promise before he passed on, and puts his spirit into the body of a recently deceased young man who had NASCAR ambitions. He figures it's an unbeatable combination, and with this new player on their team, things are starting to look up. But can the Champ handle his new life in the fast lane?


"Dead Hand" is a stand-alone short story about a guy named Rattler who works for a failing NASCAR operation that's desperately in need of a winning entry, or at the very least, a decent sponsor in order to stay in business. He comes up with the idea of magically resurrecting the spirit of a dead driver who had promise way back in the day into the body of a recently deceased young man who had ambitions of becoming a race car driver. No one knows what Rattler did except him and the Champ, and soon things start looking up when they get a decent qualifying position in a race and the Champ starts drawing fans. But the Champ finds it difficult to navigate this new world of racing, leading to a surprising outcome.

Overall, this was a relatively easy-to-read story. However, the author is clearly a huge NASCAR fan, while I'm not, so her rather detailed descriptions of the racing scene were pretty lost on me. I also couldn't help feeling like the ending was somewhat anti-climactic. It turned out to be an interesting little twist, but there just wasn't quite enough build-up for me to care much one way of the other how it ended. Therefore, like many others stories in the Blood Lite anthology where it's found, it was just an OK read.


Sharyn McCrumb