Review: Dog Star by Keith Minnion

cover of Dog Star by Keith MinnionDog Star by Keith Minnion
White Noise Press (May 2020)
344 pages; $12.99 paperback; $2.99 e-book
Reviewed by Dave Simms

Author and artist Keith Minnion has returned with a personal novel that’s part police procedural, part supernatural mystery. Alongside The Boneyard, one of the best horror novels of the past ten years, and the recent collection, Read Me, readers are treated to something new, although there are some tricky — and cool — connections to the aforementioned book.

The year is 1974. The local university is shaken by the last action of Chloe Hutchins. She’s found hanging from a tree in the orchard by a purple noose. As an art major, is it murder or a performance art? Suicide or accident?
Cyrus Barnaby finds himself at the center of a mystery that may or may not be the heart of a murder, perhaps something quite supernatural in nature. Chloe existed as someone special to him, not quite a girlfriend but more than a simple friend. That might be why he comes to believe she may be haunting him.

When he is asked by Profesor Perrault to paint brain cauls, he discovers something that threatens to unravel his sanity. Messages emerge from the cauls — messages that might be handing him clues to Chloe’s death and his own safety. What is Perrault hiding and what does he seek in these cauls?

The strange woman who enters Cyrus’ life spins him around while casting her own devious shadow on the events revolving around the campus.
During this, Detective Ed Shuyler works the investigation to dig to the core of Chloe’s death.

What he finds might be something deeper and darker than he’s ever experienced in his career.

Minnion’s tale twists and turns like the best mysteries out there, revealing layers like a fine magician, holding the final reveals until the end with a deft hand. His writing is smooth, allowing the story to build and breathe as it needs.

Another highly recommended novel by the talented Keith Minnion.

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