Doctor Perry, Kirsten McKenzie
I don't read horror books, nor do I watch horror movies. Even the good old Hammer Horror movies passed me by, so I'm not the best judge of these sorts of books, which makes talking about DOCTOR PERRY a tad compromised. Because of that, take this as the type of review which is all about my responses and nothing about the overall quality of the book as it sits besides other's of the same type.
I will admit that I never imagined a kindly, sympathetic doctor type as the main villain of a horror piece, but the idea that the worst of the horror is occurring in a nursing home, worked. What with the deplorable state of our aged services these days...
But readers of this book will find this isn't a ghost, apparition, scary bumping in the night type story. Nope. Doctor Perry is up to something considerably more challenging, and weird, and unexpected. There are some elements that could be classed as thriller or even crime"y" in here as well, but ultimately DOCTOR PERRY is a 100%, scare your socks off horror story, set in all-too-believable scenario - a poorly maintained, unsympathetic, uncaring elderly person's home - with a medical service provided by Doctor Perry that's anything but believable.
It's a crowded little book, with lots of characters, lots of goings on and it doesn't muck about when it comes to getting into the horror elements. The setting really helps with a sort of "Abandon hope all ye who enter here" feeling, that makes everything depressing, and plays tricks with your head about "fates worse than death".
In terms of my personal reactions - DOCTOR PERRY did seem to be coming at horror from a particularly horrific angle. It's packaged up in a very readable fashion, provided you have the stomach for those horror aspects, and you can see the message underneath it all. To be honest, what stayed with this reader was not what old Doctor Perry is up to being horrific (in short, sharp bursts), but what greed, apathy and lack of human decency can do to people in supposed "care" for much longer periods of time.
“The sound of the man’s screams changed pitch and Doctor Perry looked up from his notes. Ah, the cranium was shrinking…”
Under the Hippocratic Oath, a doctor swears to remember that warmth, sympathy, and understanding may outweigh the surgeon’s knife or the chemist’s drug.
Doctor Perry reassures his elderly patients he can offer warmth, sympathy, and understanding. Doctor Perry is a liar.