Double Vision

Double Vision by Hamelin Bird

For fans of Stephen King, Michael Koryta, and Lawrence Block, Hamelin Bird delivers a stunning debut. In this haunting new horror thriller featuring a down-and-out detective, solving the case of a lifetime and tracking down a dangerous killer is only half of the story.

Former detective Michael Lunsmann is about to lose everything. Still in love with his ex-wife, estranged from his teenage son, and now fresh off the wagon once again, rock bottom has never felt closer. But things are about to get worse. Following another Father’s Day disaster with his son, Lunsmann wakes from a drinking binge with a bullet in his arm and no earthly idea how it got there. That same night, four teens go missing and are later found dead, brutally murdered by a madman.

Drawn into the investigation, Lunsmann launches an effort to catch the killer. But to repair the damage to his family, he’ll have to confront his own demons. When the most unlikely detective becomes the only man to crack the case, dark and sinister forces will stop at nothing to prevent the truth from surfacing.

A supernatural thriller and compelling meditation on addiction and fatherhood, Double Vision is a gripping story that will keep readers turning pages late into the night.

The IndieMuse Review

The debut novel from Hamelin Bird, Double Vision has been described as being ideal for fans of ‘Stephen King and Lawrence Block’ and, as a fan of both, I was intrigued to delve into his horror-tinged crime thriller about a down-on-his-luck detective and his attempts to solve a case that seemingly has no rational explanation.

Michael Lunsmann has hit upon hard times. His marriage has failed and his wife has remarried. His son, now fifteen, has grown increasingly distant toward him and Michael has turned to alcohol for comfort and is now buried deep in addiction and self-loathing.

When he awakes one day in the hospital, a bullet in his arm, his car missing, his police-issue gun unaccounted for, and no memory of the events that led him there, he is placed on administrative leave at his job. When he hears that the same night four local boys went missing under mysterious circumstances, he decides to investigate the case on his own time, digging into a dangerous supernatural secret while trying to reconnect with the family that he has lost.

If you’ve picked up this book in the hopes of an action-packed story complete with shoot-outs, car chases and epic showdowns then this isn’t the book for you. Double Vision is far more concerned with character over spectacle, substance over style, and my favorite elements of the book were not how things unfold, but following Michael and his son on the journey. The book is a slow burn but the work done on making Michael a fully fleshed-out character was absolutely extraordinary. Bird has an incredible knack for character development and dialogue and time spent in chapter-length conversations or internal monologues that would have dragged a lesser book down turns out to be the highlight here.

While the time spent with Michael as he works through the case is time well spent, and this is enriched by the side story of his son Doug, which plays out as equal parts coming of age drama and tragedy, the other side of the coin is not quite as effective. The culprit of the murders, their backstory, and especially the supernatural element behind the scenes, feel a little underdone and Double Vision could have benefitted from more focus on these elements as the explanations, when they do come at the end, work well enough, but would have had more impact if it had allowed for a little more build-up, particularly given that there is an interesting story there that doesn’t get near the same focus that Michael and Doug do.

Comparisons to horror masters King and Block are apt in the case of Double Vision and, for a debut novel, this is incredibly accomplished stuff. The writing is excellent and the character work exceptional and while Double Vision may not be telling a story that’s all that original, there is nothing wrong with a well-worn tale when the telling is this good.


Richard started reading horror books at a young age, starting with R L Stine’s ‘Goosebumps’ and ‘Point Horror’ series. He traumatised himself at the age of twelve when he read Stephen King’s ‘IT’, and never looked back. He is currently based in the UK, where he lives with his partner, and an inappropriate amount of books.

3 reviews for Double Vision by Hamelin Bird

Based on 3 reviews
5 star
4 star
3 star
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1 star
  1. JennCacc

    You will not be able to put this book down! I thoroughly enjoyed Double Vision from it’s gritty and engaging characters that draw you in to it’s intense storyline that keeps you hooked until the end. Bird’s descriptive writing had me captivated from the start. The way he developed the characters throughout the story took me on an emotional ride and had me looking forward to his next novel! Go get yourself this book now, you won’t regret it!

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  2. Zelda Reben

    Man, where to begin? This book was awesome. I had zero expectations when I went into this book– and now, coming out the other side, I can’t wait to read more from Bird! He writes relationship dynamics really well, especially dialogue. Everything felt believable to me and real. This a father and son story, and although I am not a father nor am I a son, I could relate to both characters in many ways. I loved the fact that we went into different characters heads and didn’t stay in Mikes the whole time. I really enjoyed Doug’s chapters. The last 70ish pages were my favorite and I flew through them, needing to know what happened. Definitely reminiscent of King, although I appreciate the fact that Bird never wanders in his writing, everything is a piece to the final puzzle. The ending ties everything together in a neat bow. Highly recommend!

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  3. Sarah Duck-Mayr

    I received an e-book copy of Double Vision, authored by Hamelin Bird, published by Piper House, for review consideration. What follows is my honest review, freely given.

    I rated this novel 4.5 stars. At the time of writing this review, this debut novel is a finalist for the 2021 da Vince Eye (Eric Hoffer) Award!

    If you are like me dear reader, you will start off this tale confused, disoriented, and not minding one iota. Alcoholism in it’s many stages are central to this story, including: MC is a long sufferer, beginning roots placed during youthful endeavors, healing paths fought daily, lives too young to partake but affected all the same. This novel is a seething roil of rage and loss, torment and duplicity, and every person within guilty of sin. There are whole sections that read like sandpaper on the walls of your heart, and you will turn the page gladly for more; I think we have all been there with a story once or twice before. If not, then welcome, buckle up and stay hydrated.

    This is more than just a cop thriller. Or a supernatural horror. Or even a blend of the two. I feel there were some things left to the reader’s imagination, whether we will know more at a later time… I always appreciate it when an author gives us characters that are not perfect, in any one direction. Perfectly good or evil, or boring or bright; humans are flawed and nasty, unexpected. As a child the perfect princess and prince may have had their place in my heart, but now I connect with the ones that try and fail, or don’t even want to try because they’re tired. That coupled with a puzzling otherness to contend with, made this an every-man’s fight against evil novel. The kind of fight that I might one day face, and it made me believe that I may not get my butt kicked immediately.

    I had questions at the end of this novel, but they were of the type that made me enjoy the story for how it was written. The author left me wanting to know more, not silently cursing because it all came down to a space spider. I’m not sure if there is another book planned, and either way I believe works; the author’s ending is true to life, things are continuing past our view. So if a sequel happens, I will thank Hamelin Bird for allowing us a glimpse back into a world where ‘Forgiveness Is Not Enough’ are words I never want to see hanging from a house I’ve entered.

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