Review from Kit 'N Kabootle Literary
Well, that was spooky, but in a good way. As in lots of fall vibes (though as I read this in August, I’m not quite ready to be done clinging to summer). Haunted houses are always fun, and I love the methodical steps our characters took to figure out what to do about it. The addition of social commentary and a wrong to be righted brought everything together in a way that both felt satisfying and made me want to examine the world I live in. Books that entertain me and make me think are some of the best, and this did that.
The characters were well developed, and the tension kept me wanting to know what happened next. The religious aspects were a bit gross at times (that beginning—yikes), but they also felt just too real in some ways (maybe because they are/have been). This isn’t what I usually read, but I don’t regret reading it at all. Books like this are why I step out of my reading comfort zone—because there are so many stories to tell, and I want to try new ones.
All in all, enjoyed. Recommend to those wanting a spooky story with some deep messages and real characters.
LGBTQ+ storytelling: Servant, by Patrick R. Field #Paranormal #Fantasy #LGBTQ+
Servant is an adult fiction novel that combines the genres of dark supernatural mystery and LGBTQ+ storytelling. The inspiration for this novel was borne from the supernatural events that have happened in my own home in the Northern Poconos of Northeastern Pennsylvania (NEPA). A collection of sightings, strange noises and inexplicable events that have occurred to my husband, friends and myself during the day and night are the foundation for the haunting of Blackstone, the mansion in my novel.
Another source of inspiration is that our home is built on the banks of Westcolang Lake, land that belonged to the Lenape tribe (Westcolang is a Lenape term), the indigenous people of NEPA that were part of the Algonquin tribe of New England. I pay homage to this tribe in Servant, as Mesingw Medeu, a Lenape deity that aids my heroes, Mitch MacCleod and Buck Waltham, in their quest to release the spirit of Jedidiah Sheppard, a young man that was murdered in Blackstone.
When I wrote Servant, it was obvious to me the protagonists were a married gay cis male couple, as that is what my husband and I are and as stated the novel is largely built upon our experiences in our home. Mitch and Buck are amalgams of us and other fictional traits, but the fact that they are gay is just incidental to the story. As LGBTQ+ reviewers have stated:
“Finally, a story where a gay couple’s biggest issue ISN’T being gay.”
“It’s really gratifying to see a gay couple as the lead characters in a book who just ‘happen to be gay, and not a main plot point. Refreshing and a welcome addition to the gay fiction genre.”
It may be naïve of me, but I would like to think that as a society we have moved on from the old tropes of what gay fiction was when I was growing up during the turbulent AIDS-era decades of the 1980s/1990s along with other forms of creative expression. Servant does harken back to that time as Jedidiah Sheppard lived during the pre-Stonewall years in rural America, and that contrast is easily seen in the novel as the spirit learns of the legally married gay couple living in his previous home, a concept that he could never have imagined when he was alive.
It is my mission, if you will, to continue to write novels where the protagonists will always be gay (or at least questioning their binary nature) and that they experience the supernatural mystery set before them from the queer perspective, but their sexuality is not necessarily a main plot point, rather, simply a fact about the characters. This is the proposed niche for author Patrick R. Field.
What an amazingly fun, fast-paced, and poignant novel! With colorful characters and forensic accuracy, the author creates an original and smart supernatural mystery for modern sensibilities. Exuding Southern charm and urban sophistication, the narrator ferries the reader through a labyrinthine investigation, populated by fascinating and relatable personalities, of a horrific crime to a shocking and satisfying conclusion. The conflict between America’s puritanical roots and its progressive ideals is deftly actualized in this fanciful and captivating tale.
Review from Books of Badal
"Servant" by Patrick R. Field plunges readers into a gripping supernatural tale set in the enigmatic Blackstone. The married couple, Mitch and Buck, becomes entangled in a web of mysterious occurrences within the former Sheppard family estate, nestled in the Northern Poconos of Pennsylvania. The narrative unfolds with sightings of shadowy figures and inexplicable events, laying the foundation for an atmospheric and suspenseful story.
As Mitch and Buck delve into the secrets of the estate, they connect with the spirit of Jedidiah Sheppard through séances. The revelation that Jedidiah is unable to find peace in the afterlife due to the unsolved mystery of his disappearance in 1965 adds a layer of complexity to the plot. The introduction of the Lenape medicine man, Mesingwe Medeu, and the interference in their quest heighten the supernatural elements, creating an atmospheric blend of mystery and the paranormal.
The inclusion of Gladys Munch, also known as Madame Fortunesta, adds an eccentric and mystical touch to the narrative. The couple's realization that they must uncover Jedidiah's remains and solve the decades-old mystery through modern detective work injects a sense of urgency and suspense into the storyline.
"Servant" is not just a supernatural mystery; it promises a journey into the past, intertwining historical elements with the contemporary pursuit of justice. The question of whether it is too late for Jedidiah's spirit to find eternal peace adds a poignant layer to the narrative, infusing the story with emotional depth.
Field's novel captivates readers with its eerie atmosphere, a blend of historical and supernatural elements, and a quest for justice that transcends the boundaries of life and death. "Servant" is poised to immerse readers in a thrilling and thought-provoking tale where the past converges with the present in a quest for resolution and peace.
Intriguing ghostly mystery
…Mitch and Buck come to life in this small-town mystery. The characters’ dynamic relationship is realistic and fun. The reader will feel like a trusted friend and will be kept guessing until the last pages!...
…we get it all in a great thriller that keeps us turning pages to solve the mystery of the past right along with Mitch and Buck...lead characters in a book who just “happen” to be gay and not a main plot point. Refreshing and a welcome addition to the gay fiction genre. Looking forward to seeing what Mr. Field writes next.
Dive into a Story that will Captivate You
An incredible journey…will keep you wanting more…a must read for all fans of suspense, love and intrigue…Looking forward to more from this new talent.