When two authors rub shoulders together and decide to write a novel, it can either be a huge success or a complete disaster. Thankfully, Matt Hayward and Patrick Lacey drink from the same cup, or so it seems. Practitioners is a seamless read. Both authors show equal skill in awakening the reader to the horrors of Bellview, it’s demon antagonist, Paul White and his army of sleepers.
I read a lot of horror books, make that a hell of a lot of horror books. I’m forever in search of something a little different. Thankfully, Practitioners IS a little different. Sure, it has some familiar ingredients: a burnt out cop looking for justice for his slain wife and monsters, yeah, I always love monsters. Thankfully, Hayward and Lacey somehow make this all feel fresh thanks to an amusing, slightly crazy lead in Henry Stappleton and a very solid story that simmers in the first half before exploding in the second. The dream sequences, in particular, are excellent, Hayward and Lacey successfully create a nightmare alterworld filled with twisted monstrosities, and did I mention monsters? Always the monsters, especially when they explode from sleeping bodies!
I really enjoyed my trip to Bellview-both sides of it. Practitioners features a lot of different ideas, and although some are similar to those used previously in movies like Demons, Nightmare on Elm Street and Invasion of the Body Snatchers, they’re successfully weaved together to give us a book that gives a few nods to the movies of old and overall it has a little something for every horror fan.
Practitioners reads like an 80s horror movie; it’s fun, evenly paced, it features a good protagonist and at times it is gory as hell. I’m a pretty happy man.
4/5 dream warriors from the Grim Reader.
Pick up a copy from here.