Murder! Mystery! Mayhem! #4
Cursed: Paul M. Feeney
Reviewed By J.A. Sullivan
Crime fiction and paranormal fiction aren’t a common combination, but Paul M. Feeney merges them together effortlessly in Cursed, a short tale focused on P.I. Garrison Wake. Like most hardboiled detectives, Wake operates outside the law to find his own form of justice for his clients. Unlike most gumshoes, he’s a shapeshifter and an expert in the supernatural, magic, and occult practices – what he calls “The Shadow World.”
In a Detroit café, Wake meets his new client Becky, a meek and shattered woman, who claims to have been cursed after watching an anonymously sent DVD. Instantly he believes she’s just a poor sap, wrongly convinced she’ll die within seven days of watching the video, which was probably sent to her by some prankster who’s seen “The Ring” movie a few too many times. But something in Becky’s story catches his attention, an emblem she saw on-screen and draws on a napkin. Could be a dead end, or a vital clue on who is trying to scare Becky.
As Garrison Wake tries to crack the case (which he thinks is no case at all, but a good paycheque at any rate), he educates the reader on the darker side of the city – crime bosses known as “The Kings,” people born with magical powers known as “Adepts,” and a few parts of his own shady past. His character treads a fine line between good guy and anti-hero throughout the story, but even with all his flaws, I found myself rooting for him.
While Cursed holds a solid storyline with good twists and interesting characters, it feels like only an introduction to the strange world Wake occupies – which isn’t a bad thing. I have a feeling the author has several more Garrison Wake stories to share, and I can’t wait to dive into them.
Garrison Wake, a shape-shifting PI, exists in a world where all the supernatural and paranormal stuff is real, albeit mostly hidden from humanity. He investigates a case where a woman believes she’s been cursed through a DVD (a la The Ring), but not all is as it seems…
J. A. Sullivan is a horror writer and paranormal enthusiast, based in Brantford, ON, Canada. Attracted to everything non-horror folks consider strange, she’s spent years as a paranormal investigator, has an insatiable appetite for serial killer information, and would live inside a library if she could.
Her latest short story can be found in Don’t Open the Door: A Horror Anthology (out July 26, 2019), and other spooky tales can be found on her blog. She’s currently writing more short stories, a novel, and reading as many dark works as she can find.
You can follow J. A. on Twitter @ScaryJASullivan
Check out her blog https://writingscaredblog.wordpress.com
Find her on Instagram www.instagram.com/j.a_sullivan