Sharp Practice is an amazing book. It's a ripper novel, but it's also about a lot of other things: writing, folk music, amnesia, academia, psychology, incest, and lunacy, to name just a few of them. Farris doesn't skimp on any of them. It's powerful stuff.
The writing is amazing. There are long stretches of almost idyllic scenes, beautifully rendered landscapes, intricate histories, odd characters that take over for a few pages, and then come startling twists and bursts of potent violence. Word of warning: Don't get too attached to any of the characters. There's plenty of darkness, along with a little bit of light. Not much, but a little. There's even humor.
I've followed John Farris' career for well over 50 years, starting with the great Harrison High. He's written a little bit of everything, and everything I've read by him has been purely wonderful. I've never read any of his Harrison High sequels, which I once thought might be just hackwork to put money in the bank (NTTAWWT). Judy, however, read all of them and thought they were very good. I have several, and I guess it's time I found out for myself. Farris is a master, no matter what he's writing, so I'm sure it'll be fun.