Inside the Asylum A Kathy Ryan Novel #2 by Mary SanGiovanni Genre: Supernatural Horror Pub Date: 5/7/19
From “master of cosmic horror” (Library Journal) Mary SanGiovanni, comes the latest terrifying novel featuring occult specialist Kathy Ryan . . . A mind is a terrible thing to destroy . . . Kathy has been hired to assess the threat of patient Henry Banks, an inmate at the Connecticut-Newlyn Hospital for the Criminally Insane, the same hospital where her brother is housed. Her employers believe that Henry has the ability to open doors to other dimensions with his mind—making him one of the most dangerous men in modern history. Because unbeknownst to Kathy, her clients are affiliated with certain government organizations that investigate people like Henry—and the potential to weaponize such abilities. What Kathy comes to understand in interviewing Henry, and in her unavoidable run-ins with her brother, is that Henry can indeed use his mind to create “Tulpas”—worlds, people, and creatures so vivid they come to actual life. But now they want life outside of Henry. And they’ll stop at nothing to complete their emancipation. It’s up to Kathy—with her brother’s help—to stop them, and if possible, to save Henry before the Tulpas take him over—and everything else around him. Add to Goodreads Amazon * Apple * B&N * Google * Kobo * Kensington
Behind the Door A Kathy Ryan Novel #1
Occult specialist Kathy Ryan returns in this thrilling novel of paranormal horror from Mary SanGiovanni, the author of Chills . . . Some doors should never be opened . . . In the rural town of Zarepath, deep in the woods on the border of New Jersey and Pennsylvania, stands the Door. No one knows where it came from, and no one knows where it leads. For generations, folks have come to the Door seeking solace or forgiveness. They deliver a handwritten letter asking for some emotional burden to be lifted, sealed with a mixture of wax and their own blood, and slide it beneath the Door. Three days later, their wish is answered—for better or worse. Kari is a single mother, grieving over the suicide of her teenage daughter. She made a terrible mistake, asking the powers beyond the Door to erase the memories of her lost child. And when she opened the Door to retrieve her letter, she unleashed every sin, secret, and spirit ever trapped on the other side. Now, it falls to occultist Kathy Ryan to seal the door before Zarepath becomes hell on earth . . . Add to GoodreadsAmazon * Apple * B&N * Google * Kobo * Kensington
Mary SanGiovanni is the author of the Bram Stoker nominated novel The Hollower, its sequels Found You and The Triumvirate, Thrall, Chaos, Savage Woods, Chills—which introduced occult security consultant Kathy Ryan—as well as the novellas For Emmy, Possessing Amy, and The Fading Place , as well as numerous short stories. She has been writing fiction for over a decade, has a masters in writing popular fiction from Seton Hill University, and is a member of The Authors Guild, Penn Writers, and International Thriller Writers. Website * Facebook * Twitter * Bookbub * Amazon * Goodreads
March twenty-seventh marked three years since Henry Banks had woken up from the coma. He kept
track in a day planner, with new calendar refills for subsequent years, by drawing a symbol he had been
taught by his friends in the upper right hand corner of each day’s page. Other than therapy sessions, he
had no real appointments anymore, but Henry jotted down notes about the day’s events, things he
learned or discovered, and each night before bed, he drew that symbol of his far-reaching goals.
Journaling, even Henry’s odd version of it, was encouraged and allowed to continue as a means of
reconnecting with one’s self and feelings. His was more of an odd, disjointed grimoire of his mind, but
that seemed to be okay, too. He never forgot, not even during the trial when his mind was…elsewhere.
On days he couldn’t get to the planner, Maisie made sure that at least the days were marked. It was
important to him. He never forgot, so neither did she.
Every day that passed reminded him that he was drifting farther and farther from the rest of humanity,
so Henry didn’t think the three-year anniversary was cause for celebration. Dr. Pam Ulster did, though,
or at least convincingly pretended to. Every year prior, she had suggested Henry do something nice for
himself to commemorate his “return to the world.” The irony was not lost on him. He didn’t see how he
was supposed to do much of anything since the orderlies, who were not big on celebrations, watched
him like hawks. Even if he wanted to, what could he really give himself in his current situation? A walk in
the sunshine around the hospital grounds? An extra muffin with breakfast? Anything else—anything
worthwhile—would be noticed and probably taken away.
Besides, it wasn’t like he’d come back from the dead. He’d just come back from…somewhere else.
Henry figured other people would have had reason to celebrate March twenty-seventh if he’d died
instead of coming out of that coma. Maybe that should have happened, but it didn’t. Maisie, Orrin,
Edgar, and the Others made sure of that. They’d come out of Ayteilu and saved him. Or maybe they
were right, and he had saved them.
The police and the lawyers and the doctors told him he’d done something bad to the teenagers in his
basement right before the coma. He couldn’t remember much about that. He was pretty sure he hadn’t
been the one who’d done it, but it was his fault all the same. He’d seen those teenagers before; they
hung around outside the Dollar Tree and said mean things to him from behind the safety of their
cigarette smoke clouds when he went to shop there. The girl was pretty, but she was sharp where she
should have been soft, like something made of glass or porcelain, something whose temper could
shatter her into a thousand jagged, deadly pieces. The three guys were mostly messy mops of hair, black
trench coats, and jeans. Their faces didn’t matter to him. Their fists did, and their words; they often
threatened the former with the latter. Henry wasn’t even sure if they’d had eyes, but he imagined that if
they did, those eyes were cold.
They made fun of the holes in his t-shirts and the way he walked and the scar on his shaved head. They
made fun of the burn marks on the back of his shoulder and neck and the way he growled at them
instead of using words. Still, they had always been an away-problem, an outside-the-house problem, like
savage dogs on leashes. They were tethered to the Dollar Tree, and if he could make it past them to his
car and then to his home, he would be safe.
Then it turned out that they weren’t on leashes. They could move anywhere they wanted. And they had
chosen to break into his house, his safe space. They’d brought baseball bats and knives. The Viper and
the Others had come simply to protect him.
Sometimes, Henry thought he should have started keeping count in his planner on that night.
Dr. Ulster had asked him once during a session why he bothered to maintain such meticulous records of
the past three years if he honestly believed everything in his life had fallen apart since the coma. Why
approach the planner as a constant reminder of his deterioration, then? Why not just put the past
behind him and focus on getting better?
Henry had told her then the truth about the Others, just like he had told the police when they found
what was left of the four teenagers in his basement. He told them about Ayteilu and its tendency to
swallow up reality. He’d told them about Maisie and Orrin and Edgar and all the Others. He’d even told
them about the Viper. Maisie said that was okay. The problem was, he couldn’t show the police or Dr.
Ulster, so they hadn’t believed. He couldn’t make it all happen on command, not back then. But he was
learning, and over the last 1,095 days, he was steadily growing better at it. What he didn’t tell anyone
was that in three days’ time, as set forth by Edgar’s prediction, he’d have complete control in
summoning the Others at will and opening the way to Ayteilu. The Others hadn’t wanted him to share
that part with anyone else.
Henry peered through the gloom of his bedroom. His cot was against the wall across from the door,
which of course was locked now that it was lights out. On the far side of the room was the door to his
simple bathroom—one sink, one toilet, both gleaming white—and next to that door was a small closet
in which hung his hospital-issued clothes, soft and harmless. No zipper teeth or sharp metal claws there,
not even buttons or laces. Beneath the clothes, like obedient lapdogs curled up on the closet floor for
the night, were a pair of loafers and a pair of slippers. Against the back wall near where the head of his
cot lay was a small, barred window. The orderlies could open it sometimes to air the room out but they
had keys to do that and were allowed to reach through the bars. That night, his window was closed but
Henry didn’t mind. He just liked having one, and from his, he could see the parking lot. Some people
liked seeing the neat, tight little lawns that constituted the hospital grounds, but he preferred the
parking lot. It reminded him that there was still a real world out there, with normal people who had jobs
and houses and pets, and that those people could actually leave hospitals and move freely through it.
He got up from the cot and shuffled over to the window. The moon was mostly hidden behind clouds,
but in the lot below, the arc-sodium lights illuminated patches of asphalt in a soft melon color. Shadows
skirted those halos of glow, darting quickly from one spot to another in the dark. It wasn’t their shape so
much as their movement that Henry caught, but it was soothing all the same to see they were down
there. Probably it was Maisie who had sent them. She was thoughtful like that. Maisie always knew
when he was sad or angry or just feeling drained.
That night, Henry was exhausted. The geliophobia had been particularly bad all day. He had shouldered
the burden of many crippling mental conditions since early childhood, but the one that garnered the
least sympathy and understanding was his fear of people laughing at him. Decades of laughter, pressed
between the pages of his memories, always found a way to resurface, to grow fat and loud again in his
thoughts and even in his ears. When he was stressed or tired, he could hear a chorus of guffaws and
giggles, tittering and peals from people who should have kept their damn mouths shut.
The laughter echoed in the back of his thoughts, jarring and ugly like the squawking of angry hawks, and
he tried to put it out. Bad things happened in the dark when he couldn’t, and he didn’t have the strength
to make the bad things go away. Not tonight. His limbs felt heavy and his eyes were dry and burning. He
shuffled back to the cot and climbed beneath the blanket.