Mister Lullaby

Dreamscape Media. Nov. 2023. 12:07 hrs. ISBN 9781666650792. $17.99. HORROR
Markert’s (The Nightmare Man) ode to Stephen King crams a lot into its run time. Gideon Dupree, recently discharged from the army, has returned home to Harrod’s Reach, KS. He continues to pine for his best friend Beth, who’s now a deputy sheriff, and is still blamed for the long-ago accident that left his younger brother in a coma. Gideon’s homecoming coincides with the discovery of two bodies alongside the old train tunnel, which has always been the site of strange occurrences. Now monstrosities from a place called Lalaland are coming through the tunnel; they serve an entity known as Mister Lullaby. Markert creates a world that harkens back to King’s small towns endangered by supernatural forces. The massive number of characters and the info dumps slow the story down, but the trade-off between narrators David Bendena and Laura Ezzo provides enlivening bursts of momentum. Patient audiences will be rewarded with a harrowing ending where nightmares run amok; it also sets up a sequel.
VERDICT Those who enjoy King’s Castle Rock novels or dark fantasies that involve a weakening veil between worlds should enjoy this journey to Lalaland.
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