Wednesday, January 10, 2024

Book Review: Mr Lullaby by J.H. Markert


The small town of Harrod’s Reach has seen its fair share of the macabre, especially inside the decrepit old train tunnel around which the town was built. After a young boy, Sully Dupree, is injured in the abandoned tunnel and left in a coma, the townspeople are determined to wall it up. Deputy sheriff Beth Gardner is reluctant to buy into the superstitions until she finds two corpses at the tunnel’s entrance, each left with strange calling cards inscribed with old lullabies. Soon after, Sully Dupree briefly awakens from his coma.

Before falling back into his slumber, Sully manages to give his older brother a message. Sully's mind, since the accident, has been imprisoned on the other side of the tunnel in Lalaland, a grotesque and unfamiliar world inhabited by evil mythical creatures of sleep. Sully is trapped there with hundreds of other coma patients, all desperately fighting to keep the evils of the dream world from escaping into the waking world.

Elsewhere, a man troubled by his painful youth has for years been hearing a voice in his head he calls Mr. Lullaby, and he has finally started to act on what that voice is telling him—to kill any coma patient he can find, quickly.

Something is waking up in the tunnel—something is trying to get through. And Mr. Lullaby is coming.

I did not read J.H. Markert's last book ,The Nightmare Man, so I was pleasantly surprised with his latest Mr Lullaby. I have been a bit disappointed in horror recently, it doesn't seem creepy, most strange and weird, or maybe it is the books I have been picking up, but Mr Lullaby was a good small town hour story.

Violence seems to linger in the small town Harrod's Reach. It resides in dark empty tunnels and a place called La La Land that seems coexist in the minds of people in comas.

The story is  creepy, spooky, and strange, but not the crazy insane strange I have been encountering recently. Think early Stephen King strange.

The story started out as a slow burn, building the world you were entering, but it was interesting enough to keep you turning the pages. The writing flowed with the story, but the book was a bit character heavy, which, because I listened to it on audio sometimes got a bit confusing to me. I feel if I could have flipped back between pages, this would have been less of a problem for me. I did have to concentrate on who was who several times.

Even with the heavy POVs and characters, it was a worthy soft horror story, it creeped me out at times, which is what I look for in a horror book naturally. I look forward to going back and trying The Nightmare Man and anything in the future that Markert puts out.

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