Practitioners by Matt Hayward
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Recovering from the death of his wife, Officer Henry Stapleton is on a downward spiral of booze. His wife's killer winds up dead, or does he? Henry visits a New Age healing center and starts experimenting with lucid dreaming. But what will he do when he discovers the machinations of a man who may not exist?
I follow Patrick Lacey on Twitter and I was all over this one as soon as I saw the cover.
The story feels more like a detective story than anything else a lot of the time. Henry Stapleton, benched after the death of his wife, tries to piece together the identity of Paul White, a guy buying up more and more of town and the mastermind behind Crystal Dreams, a New Age healing center that has opened up.
The book starts simply enough but escalates once Henry begins studying lucid dreaming. From there, it reminds me of the crazy ass second half of Keeper of the Children, with lots of crazy shit happening in dreams.
There was a few editing bumps, par for the course for small press horror. The writing was seamless, meaning I couldn't ever tell more than one person wrote it. Even half asleep on a plane to Las Vegas, I couldn't set the book aside. Four out of five stars.
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