Review: Murmur by Patrick Freivald

cover of Murmur by Patrick FreivaldMurmur by Patrick Freivald
Barking Deer Press (July 14, 2020)
223 pages; $4.89 e-book
Reviewed by A.E. Siraki

Patrick Freivald, author of novels and short story collections, presents his latest, an urban fantasy thriller set in New York City, high on the eroticism, high on the grittiness, and high on the compulsive readability. 

The novel starts off with Davis MacArthur, a narcissistic violinist who lives in a posh building with his girlfriend, Alisha. She comes from a very wealthy family, and they seem to be a good match. Incidentally, they both have a penchant for hard drugs, which comes into play throughout much of the erotically-charged novel. Davis’s mother presents an interesting contrast to the Rated R content, as she is your typical religious die-hard Bible thumper. Be advised that this book is firmly in the camps of erotic and extreme horror.

Davis is not like your average minor celebrity. He has a demon called Murmur in his pocket (you’ll see when you get there). Unlike other stories that have explored this trope, Davis controls the demon and it doesn’t possess him in the conventional sense, nor does Murmur force Davis to release a physical demon form. Still, Murmur’s voice is a constant throughout. Murmur encounters a woman who terrifies him, and claims that she controls an extremely powerful entity who can destroy worlds. He warns Davis to avoid the woman at all costs and get as far away from her as possible. Davis isn’t quite so readily convinced. 

Davis has something that this dangerous entity he saw on the street wants very badly, and Murmur wants the same thing. Davis tells Murmur he will never get it. What ensues is a book full of mind games, deception, murder, sex, demons, dark magic, and so much more.  

Readers who enjoyed Naomi Clark’s novel Demonized about Private Investigator Ethan Banning’s struggles with the demon who possesses him will definitely enjoy Murmur.

Having read Freivald’s work for years, I consider Murmur one of my favorites of the works he has produced. Highly recommended. 

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