Review of Catfish lullaby by A.C. Wise

Catfish lullaby is the story of a man growing up in LA next to the home of a reclusive family shrouded in secrets until one day their house burns down.  No one knows what happened is it  the culmination of the family mystery or  an act of violence by the swamp denizen know as catfish john but it changes Caleb’s life forever as he is introduced to the enigma that is Cere a girl who will affect the next 30 years of his life as he goes from child to man and after becoming sheriff is forced to revisit those events that shaped his childhood.

As I read Catfish Lullaby I was enthralled it seemed as if someone had patched together Lovecraft with to kill a mockingbird, maybe not in substance but in its evocative nature.    The characters are engaging from Caleb as he grows from a harassed gay child to the sheriff of the county to Cere who struggles between the evil within her and the woman she wants to be.  The prose is compliments the plot never spelling everything out in detail but always providing all the imagery we need to feel the story. This book is a great example of a soft magic system, its feels like eldritch horror but feels no need to sill all the secrets , it is very much what you could imagine a bunch of people sitting around a campfire in LA telling stories that no one knew if it was fact or fiction but a little of both.  I enjoyed the book a lot and will be on the look out for other things from the author.

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