Strange Practice by Vivian Shaw
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I thoroughly enjoyed this novel!
I found Strange Practice a unique take on urban supernatural stories. I think particularly because the author, Vivian Shaw, begs the question and makes no attempt to convince the reader that the supernatural are amongst us. She simply and brilliantly proceeds to weave an entirely believable and oddly familiar tale populated with ‘real’ characters and a narrative I increasingly engaged with.
Strange Practice features Dr Greta Helsing, a Harley Street GP to the undead. We meet a colourful cast of associates and friends including a vampire, a vampyre (I love the distinguishing facets), a protective demon, endearing ghouls, a nerdy scientist and a threatening order of God-fearing monks. We are drawn to empathise with the monsters, and the twist of this and throughout make this a superbly engaging read.
Set in modern-day London and superbly atmospherised, the pace of the narrative is brisk enough, yet takes time to deeply consider the motivations of the main protagonists and explore how they engage with their supernatural existences.
I found that I internalised the supernatural explanations as the author laid out in her elaborate web of an upturned perception of the world. The characters are all very well drawn and explored, the narrative tight and the settings deeply cast.
My immediate actions on finishing this thoroughly satisfying read were to first share this review and to immediately acquire the next novel in the series.
Strange Practice is simply fun, strangely alluring and highly recommended.