BOOK TRAILER! Click to view the trailer for Catherine's Castleton Manor Library books, and Survive Or Die!
"You think you’re gonna Survive, but you’re gonna Die. Die. Die."
The owner of a dysfunctional company arranges a mandatory team-building exercise at the Survive or Die survivalist camp, once the setting for a defunct reality TV show. When he receives a death threat, what surprises employees is not that someone wants their lecherous, hard-drinking boss dead. The surprise is that he’s not the first casualty.
The unexpected demise of a coworker’s husband barely causes a ripple. The annoying photographer’s death is attributed to natural causes. The excitement comes when the boss announces the winner of the week-long game will receive a raise, and the loser will be fired. Most employees dig in with grim determination. A few have other agendas.
Timid junior accountant and dedicated eco-warrior Sotheara Sok searches for evidence that toxic waste is being dumped illegally on the ranch. Aubrey Sommers plans to rekindle romance with her husband, despite her resentment at being stuck in the shabby camp. Factory laborer Jeremiah Jones stalks his coworkers in search of a woman with wide child-bearing hips to share his mountain man dream.
Their plans become derailed when unlikely accidents plague the camp. Tours of Going Batty Days and the Cannibal of Carver Pass Museum in nearby Lodgepole provide pieces to a disturbing puzzle. The three join forces with an old lady version of Chuck Norris, and a city-girl computer geek, as the week deteriorates from mock survival games to a fight for survival in the Colorado wilderness.
REVIEW in Kings River Life
Survive or Die by Catherine Dilts
Review by Doward Wilson
It was a wild and crazy ride, reading this cozy adventure thriller. On the abandoned set of an old reality show, Survive Or Die, the employees of a company are put to the test by their conniving owner who promises a raise for the winner and a firing for the loser. The boss is accompanied by his mistress who is determined to become his next wife, a husband and wife who are struggling to keep their marriage going, a pioneering man looking for the perfect wife to do a wildness or wilderness life with, and an environmentalist who is searching for evidence of toxic waste dumping in the old mine shafts pitting the camp and the rest of the employees, some of whom are toting hand guns.
The first murder happens before anyone even knows that the man had arrived and no one can even remember who he is. The employees are put into groups, and they have to survive a test of their outdoor skills to win keys to a treasure chest! Before the games start, the boss receives a written death threat and an employee dies from bee stings when he can”t find his injection pen! Who is out to kill the boss? His mistress who is tired of waiting for his divorce, the toxic waste hunter, the employee wife who was tricked into thinking this was a vacation to get her marriage back on track, the employee who was caught embezzling funds from the toxic waste account, or anyone who hated the boss, which is everyone. Will they discover the murderer and stop him before more people lose their lives.
This was a well-crafted mystery and adventure book. The characters are very well drawn and totally believable. The survivalist camp made the perfect background setting for some crazy stunts. Any cozy or thriller fan will enjoy this book, and the stunning ending will have you glued to your seat.
“Survive or Die will toss you off a cliff from its opening scene to the final Aha moment. And you’ll love the fall. Great and quirky characters. Imaginative murders. Loved it.”
—Robert Spiller, author of the Bonnie Pinkwater series, mysteries with a mathematical twist
“Dilts writes with a clarity that draws in the readers. Her ability to create believable characters, coupled with a great plot and beautiful prose all combine to make Survive or Die a winner.”
—L. C. Hayden Award winning and best selling author of the Harry Bronson Thrillers
“Deliverance meets The Office. In this hilariously suspenseful novel, Catherine Dilts drops the employees of a manufacturing company into the Colorado wilderness in an entertaining twist on team building: The winner gets a raise; the loser gets axed. Trouble quickly ensues as the employees’ goals shift from keeping their jobs to staying alive. Dilts assembles a memorable cast of characters that will have you alternately cringing at their antics or laughing out loud at their zany-but-earnest theories about jobs, relationships, and murder.”
Author of the award-winning Sydney Parnell series: Blood on the Tracks, Dead Stop, Ambush