An out of the way, unnamed, dark, bleak asylum contains a dangerous patient who is rumored to be able to ruin, haunt, or even snuff out the lives of the people try to cure him. A young idealist psychiatrist, still grappling with his own childhood trauma is driving to his first assignment after graduating from school. When these two things collide, you have a chillingly haunted tale that you should not pass over.
If that isn’t enough to grab you by the arm and pull you close, how about the combination of the plot’s beginning resembling A Silent Patient, the story’s intricately built world reminding you of Stephen King, mashed with Peter Straub’s creepy, eerie, blood freezing stories as a comparison for your horror addled brains. You will absolutely go mad when you jump in to read this novella and devour it in one sitting, biting your nails, holding on to your favorite stuffed animal, feeling like something is watching you yet trying to remain brave. You will want to stop reading, scared but not wanting to admit it, it’s okay- just leave the light on … in EVERY room in the house. Go on, pick up your book and let’s start at the beginning.
The story is told through Parker’s (full name redacted of course, for privacy sake) entries to an internet message board describing his time working at the asylum (which of course also has just a pseudonym – we wouldn’t want Parker to be sued now would we?) and meeting with patient named Joe who hasn’t been diagnosed properly in the THREE DECADES he has been housed there. Mysteriously, other patients crossing paths with him end up committing suicide or suffering from mental breakdowns. Parker has volunteered to take on Joe’s case (as he carries a deep remorse that he couldn’t save his schizophrenic mother from herself and her mistreatment in her asylum,) thinking he will be the one to solve the mystery of Joe. But of course this poor young man has no idea what he’s getting into!
Joe has been in the hospital since he was six. His parents brought him because of extreme night terrors and wild tales of monsters in his walls. Did he have a complex, thrilling imagination? Did someone abuse him? What was happening to that boy? Nobody found it including his dead cellmates.
When Parker finally meets and interviews him, Joe insists there is nothing wrong with him and he is being held at this place without his consent and nobody wants to believe him.
Who is telling the truth? Has Parker put himself and other people’s lives in danger with his obsession to treat this “untreatable” patient? This is where you’ll have to run and grab your copy of this amazing novella fo find out!
This was attention keeping, nail biting, fast past reading with a dark and intense ending to the story. Believe me, it’s worth the read. Definitely a 4/5 star read for me and I will be on the lookout for more books by the talented Jasper Dewitt!