Essondale takes place in a mental hospital. Is this hell, or just a psychiatric hospital? Dr. Robert Snow isn't sure. Waking from a drunken stupor in a small green room, the doctor finds he's on the other side of the diagnosis - in a place where life and mental health seem to be going pretty cheap these days. Murder and sexual abuse haunt the hospital, but Snow doesn't really care. He'd rather be dead anyway. When a charming, manic cowboy and a world-weary intellectual invade Snow's self-imposed isolation, they drag him out of his depression - and into the heart of Essondale's black mysteries...
This is one of Dawson's earlier works originally published by Macmillan and now available in trade paper and on kindle from Bridgeross Communications.
Two more current works from Dawson are Slide in All Direction released in 2008 and Don't Look Down released in late 2009 by Bridgeross in both trade paper and on kindle.
Slide in All Direction is a new story of crime, addictions, mental illness, love and family, set in the decaying urban center of an old manufacturing city. -"Dawson's vital characters and the ambience of his city and institutional scenes earn him respect as the author of both a superb mystery and a compelling novel." PUBLISHERS WEEKLY - "..a medical mindblower. Dawson proves a surehanded competitor of Robin Cook." PUBLISHERS WEEKLY
One reviewer stated that this mystery is "as close to reality as it gets" while a five star review on Amazon said "this mystery is full of realistic, yet sympathetic, people living on the edge of respectability, much like the characters in an Elmore Leonard novel. The plot, like an episode of Seinfeld, is made up of disparate parts that come together in a surprising, delightful, and completely satisfying, conclusion."
The 2009 release, Don't Look Down is also receiving rave reviews. The mystery deals with four men, age 18 to 81, who have murdered, and now share a room in the secure forensic psychiatry ward of a mental hospital. Who better to get inside their heads, and find both the tragedy and comedy of their lives than Canadian psychiatrist and novelist David Laing Dawson.
Book Reader's Haven said that the book takes readers into the dramatic life of a psychiatric hospital. Blog Critics states that "it feels authentic from beginning to end". The review continues with "clearly Dawson has seen some pretty intriguing cases in his time as a forensic psychiatrist, and it's great to see them translated to paper. Don't Look Down is an easy read, short and to the point, and while you may not really like or connect to the characters, their stories will keep you engaged.
See David Laing Dawson talking about Slide in All Direction from this virtual book launch at:
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A publisher of quality books distributed by Ingram. List includes the mysteries of David Laing Dawson as well as The Original Reigning Cats and Dogs, The Dysfunctional Father's Guide and Schizophrenia: