#Bookvent – Celebrating my top reads of 2021
My day ten #bookvent selection is an award winning gothic masterpiece that I read very early on in 2021. It was a book i was very intrigued to read as I studied the book that inspired it as part of my A Level in English Literature. Or is this, perhaps, the story that inspired the book I studied? Maybe … What it definitely is, was a very clever and canny twist on a well loved classic gothic tale, a murder mystery but with a twist, and with rich and vivid imagery that transports readers to 1880’s Edinburgh. My tenth pick is …
Three Hours By Rosamund Lupton
From international bestselling author Craig Russell comes a modern Gothic masterpiece.
Edward Hyde has a strange gift-or a curse-he keeps secret from all but his physician. He experiences two realities, one real, the other a dreamworld state brought on by a neurological condition.
When murders in Victorian Edinburgh echo the ancient Celtic threefold death ritual, Captain Edward Hyde hunts for those responsible. In the process he becomes entangled in a web of Celticist occultism and dark scheming by powerful figures. The answers are there to be found, not just in the real world but in the sinister symbolism of Edward Hyde’s otherworld.
He must find the killer, or lose his mind.
A dark tale. One that inspires Hyde’s friend . . . Robert Louis Stevenson.
History, crime, a gothic edge and a sense of the occult. What is not to love about Hyde? It certainly ticked all of the boxes for me, keeping me engrossed in the story of Captain Edward Henry Hyde, Superintendent for the Edinburgh City police. Drawing upon the central theme of Stevenson’s work – an exploration of the human mind and the duality of our personality – the author entertains readers with a story that is full of tension, steeped in mystery and a chilling atmosphere, topped off with a fair enough spattering of gruesome murders for which our eponymous hero finds himself under suspicion. I loved the character of Hyde. He commands attention, but for every inch of him that inspires fear, there is another that inspires trust and in spite of overwhelming evidence against him, I found myself really drawn to him. Craig Russell has created such a vivid and authentic portrayal of the duality of human nature that I became quickly engrossed in the story and the search for the truth. The landscape that Craig Russell portrays for readers is of the dark and secretive Edinburgh, a city awash with secret guilds and dark history. This is gothic mystery at it’s best. Not only is the setting perfect, the atmosphere that enshrouds the city lends itself to that all important suspense and mystery. The ritualistic nature of the murders, the suspicion that plagues the narrative and especially our protagonist. Craig Russell has done a fine job of examining the very essence of human nature and the condition that, today, would be recognised as Dissociative Identity Disorder, placing a very modern concept in a truly classic setting seamlessly. With a haunting and atmospheric narrative, an intense mystery at its heart, compelling characters, and a dark chilling presence that casts its shadow over every page, it’s a definite winner for me. And the McIlvanney Prize judges too it seems.
You can read my full review of Hyde right here.
Happy #bookvent reading all