Carter & Lovecraft – Jonathan L. Howard

SynopsisDaniel Carter used to be a homicide detective, but his last case-the hunt for a serial killer-went wrong in strange ways and soured the job for him. Now he’s a private investigator trying to live a quiet life. Strangeness, however, has not finished with him. First he inherits a bookstore in Providence from someone he’s never heard of, along with an indignant bookseller who doesn’t want a new boss. She’s Emily Lovecraft, the last known descendant of H.P. Lovecraft, the writer from Providence who told tales of the Great Old Ones and the Elder Gods, creatures and entities beyond the understanding of man. Then people start dying in impossible ways, and while Carter doesn’t want to be involved, he’s beginning to suspect that someone else wants him to be. As he reluctantly investigates, he discovers that Lovecraft’s tales were more than just fiction, and he must accept another unexpected, and far more unwanted inheritance. 

“I trained as a librarian, and I run a bookstore. Fucking right I can use a gun.”

Carter & Lovecraft is a supernatural-horror-crime-noir hybrid within an urban fantasy setting. It’s pretty fucking weird. Needless to say, I dug the hell out of it!

The book follows Detective Daniel Carter while leaving his job because of some intense shit that happens at the beginning. Carter becomes a private investigator doing mundane work. Naturally, he is miserable. Then one day a mysterious lawyer appears out of nowhere, informing him that he has inherited a residence & bookstore from Alfred Hill in Providence. Alfred Hill has been missing for seven years & declared legally dead. The only problem is, Carter has never heard of an Alfred Hill. Curiouser & curiouser!

Eventually Carter meets Hill’s niece Emily, who runs the bookstore. Emily Lovecraft. Yes, as in *the* Lovecraft. She is ol’ Howard Phillips great-great-great-great-granddaughter (there might be a few more “great’s” in there, I don’t know. She’s way down the lineage & in fact, she’s the last remaining descendant of the man. Plus.. well.. you’ll see. There’s a cheeky little detail that would probably make Mr. Lovecraft more than a little uncomfortable with that I fucking ADORED!)

More unexplainably weird things happen & Carter finds himself investigating local crimes where people are dying in impossible ways. These otherworldly happenings seem to be connected, leaving Carter & Lovecraft embroiled in the mayhem.

I truly enjoyed the relationship that forms between Dan & Emily. Their banter was nearly that of my beloved Mulder & Scully. Their chemistry is delightful & charming & they work well as a team. They were well-crafted & never once felt forced. I’m seriously in love with Emily! I think she is such a great character & I hope that she gets more of a role in the next book.

Carter & Lovecraft is atmospheric & creepy, funny & dark, twisty & thrilling. This plays on the Cthulhu Mythos brilliantly. The cosmic horrors of H.P. Lovecraft are modernized here in all its glorious weirdness.

The ending is.. just insanely bonkers! FUCKING BONKERS! I ordered the sequel immediately upon finishing. I NEED TO KNOW WHAT HAPPENS NEXT!! Goddamn.


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