Author: Jasper DeWitt
Published: July 7, 2020
Reviewed By: Kim
Kim’s Rating: 4 stars
In a series of online posts, Parker H., a young psychiatrist, chronicles the harrowing account of his time working at a dreary mental hospital in New England. Through this internet message board, Parker hopes to communicate with the world his effort to cure one bewildering patient.
We learn, as Parker did on his first day at the hospital, of the facility’s most difficult, profoundly dangerous case—a forty-year-old man who was originally admitted to the hospital at age six. This patient has no known diagnosis. His symptoms seem to evolve over time. Every person who has attempted to treat him has been driven to madness or suicide.
Desperate and fearful, the hospital’s directors keep him strictly confined and allow minimal contact with staff for their own safety, convinced that releasing him would unleash catastrophe on the outside world. Parker, brilliant and overconfident, takes it upon himself to discover what ails this mystery patient and finally cure him. But from his first encounter with the mystery patient, things spiral out of control, and, facing a possibility beyond his wildest imaginings, Parker is forced to question everything he thought he knew.
A mental hospital with a 41-year-old patient who has been there since he was six and anyone who interacts with him either goes insane or commits suicide … I mean, come on!! Of course I had to read this one!! But first, the missing star. This is Jasper’s first book and unfortunately he does that thing where he tries to write intellectually but it more comes off as pretentious. Thankfully, it wasn’t bad enough that I had to stop reading. There’s also one of those vague metaphor endings, but I didn’t mind that either.
But the formatting!!! He’s actually trying to portray this as a possible true story!!!! That makes this so much more terrifying! He starts with the explanation that he found this on a doctors’ confession website that doesn’t exist anymore. Having that in the back of my brain made this book even better. The characters were realistic and easy to sympathize with. The plot kept me going page after page. It scratched my horror itch and then some! I can’t quite tell if this is actually a horror story or not, but hey, it scared me so I say call it horror! It could definitely pass off as psychological so even those who aren’t horror fans would still enjoy it! Perfect for the change to spooky season!!