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Reviewed by Pikasho Deka for Readers' Favorite
Pool Man is a psychological thriller/horror novel written by Dan McDowell. It's the year 1991. Greg Preakle, a one-armed pool man working at The Oak Hollow Hotel, has his life turned upside down after finding a dead body floating in the hotel pool. Jobless and broke, Greg's desperation leads him to participate in an outlandish and bloody cable quiz show called Twisted Hacks. This leads to a bizarre chain of events that Greg could never have anticipated. He joins the West Riverton High School as a janitor working for the slug-obsessed Principal John Fatts. But everything is not as it seems. Why is the basement off-limits? What's the deal with the creepy Dr. Carl Hicks? As Greg slowly acclimates himself to the oddities of the school, dead bodies start piling up whenever Greg is in the vicinity.
If surreal psychological thriller/horror is your jam, you'll have a blast with Pool Man. Filled with suspense, intrigue, and nail-biting thrills, Dan McDowell's uniquely twisted tale hooks you in from the get-go and refuses to let go until the end. The narrative switches timelines every now and then, creating an atmosphere filled with tension and dread that will have readers on the edge of their seats. I found the plot completely unpredictable. After the midway point, you find yourself trying to guess what's going to happen next, only to have the rug pulled out from under you. The eccentric characters keep you engaged with their idiosyncratic personas and odd behaviors. I thoroughly enjoyed the book and highly recommend it.