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I received a free ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Greta Helsing follows in her family's footsteps by inheriting an extremely specialized, and sometimes just plain freaky, medical practice. She's one of very few doctors to supernatural creatures and everything that goes bump in the night. Greta doesn't have magical powers herself, unless you count treating banshees for vocal strain, mummies from coming completely unraveled, and the like. It's fairly quiet and doesn't pay a lot, but she's been prepared for this all of her just supernatural-adjacent life. Then, a group of monks suddenly begins killing fellow Londoners - the living and the undead - and Greta has to put all of her not inconsiderable skills to the test if she wants to stop these deranged murderers, save her life, clients, and her medical practice.
Strange Practice by Vivian Shaw is an incredibly promising beginning for a brand new urban fantasy series. I'm so glad that I got selected via NetGalley to review this novel. It has so much to love about it from a great central mystery, an intriguingly quirky cast of characters, a great monster lineup, and it's plenty creepy. Although some of the medical aspects comes across as a bit overly technical and clinical, the characters are what really make the story come to life. My favorites from the story are Ruthven and Fastitocolon (you can call him Fass). Ruthven is a vampire, of the classic draculine type, and a long time friend of Greta's and Fass has known her family for generations, he's definitely powerful but no one really wants to be the one to directly ask him what he is exactly - that would be rude. Another character that's really cool to see get a modern treatment is Francis Varney, aka the title character from the gothic penny dreadful Varney the Vampyre. And, yes, there is quite a difference between vampires and vampyres!
Overall, if you love dark urban fantasy, gothic horror, a solid mystery, and memorable characters, Vivian Shaw's newest novel, Strange Practice is a real treat. I'm dying to see what's next up in the Dr. Greta Helsing series. Do yourself a favorite and try your next favorite!
I read this ARC from July 2 - 12, 2017 and my review is also on Goodreads.