Andrew Post. JournalStone, $16.95 trade paper (184p) ISBN 978-1-95030-516-2
Post (Chop Shop) folds this hallucinatory, viscera-soaked horror novel into a puzzle box of a haunted house story. Erie, Pa., police lieutenant Dwayne Spare goes undercover at the dilapidated Dunsany Arms apartments to catch one of its residents, chemist Gerald Metzger, the manufacturer of the street drug Krokodil, which has the unfortunate side effect of rotting off users’ limbs. But when Dwayne is found out, Metzger injects him with Krok, using the drug to turn Dwayne into a human telephone line channeling messages from a grotesque, otherworldly being. As reality and dream blur and time grows oddly circular, Dwayne joins with Metzger’s other victims, paraplegic surgeon Connie Wieczne and body-modified drug courier Jack Cotard, in their struggle to escape the building. Post creates moments of beauty, repulsion, and menace with equal flair, from childish crayon birds in flight on a tenement wall to papier-mâché homunculi. What at first appear to be plot contradictions later connect elegantly as the intricate mechanics of this dreamscape are made clear. Impatient readers may grow frustrated by how long it takes for the tale’s internal logic to be revealed, but those who stick with this dark story will be gratified. Agent: Lane Heymont, Tobias Literary Agency. (Mar.)
Reviewed on : 01/08/2020
Genre: Sci-Fi/Fantasy/Horror
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