Turns out that the bookstore is managed by Amy Lovecraft, niece of the deceased owner, and descendant of horror writer H.P. Lovecraft. This is not a fact of which Amy is particularly proud - she finds Lovecraft's prose less than wonderful, his racist views abhorrent (she's African-American), and the constant stream of Lovecraft groupies who come to the bookstore like pilgrims flocking to a holy site don't exactly add joy to her life. And now she has a new boss.
But H.P. Lovecraft, for all his flaws as a writer, was apparently on to something, and as Dan and Amy begin to make connections between seemingly random events, they are very quickly caught up in a mystery with ramifications for the entire nature of reality.
Now, I admit to being a fan of Lovecraft's concepts (though I'm with Amy on the quality of his prose), so I was predisposed to like Carter & Lovecraft. What I didn't expect was to absolutely love it, and, in places, to be terrified to turn the page. Howard does a great job in creating tension, and the characters of both Amy and Dan are compelling. There's snappy dialogue, pop culture and literary references, and a nice mix of supernatural and science so that the monsters (and there are monsters) are believable. No waving tentacles here, just a great modern horror tale.
If you like Lovecraft-inspired horror, you should also check out Laird Barron's The Croning and pretty much anything by Caitlin Kiernan particularly her short fiction.
Review by Becky D.