Hyde by Craig Russell

Today Mandie is sharing her thoughts on Hyde by Craig Russell, winner of the McIlvanney Prize for Scottish Crime Fiction in 2021. I loved the book, the nod to classic gothic literature and the wonderful tale of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, and it was one of my 2021 Bookvent picks. You can read my review right here. So did Mandie agree? Read on to find out. Here’s what it’s all about:

Source: Owned Copy
Release date: 29 April 2021
Publisher: Constable

About the Book

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.

Mandie’s Thoughts

Hyde has been on my radar to read for quite some time, and I am glad that it finally made it to the top of my TBR pile. Full of gothic mystery, history, and murder it ticks all the boxes, and I was not disappointed.

Captain Edward Hyde is a Superintendent in the Edinburgh City Police. When he comes across the body of a man hung upside down from a tree, he is not sure how he came to be first on the scene. Hiding his health issues from his superiors, he knows that he is prone to blackouts and seizures which always make him wonder what happens during the missing time. When a close friend and doctor is found murdered Hyde finds himself a suspect as well as the lead detective as his condition becomes common knowledge and he had been seen arguing with the victim before his death. If this is not enough for him to contend with he is also trying to find a missing woman.

Despite Hyde struggling with his own nature, he is a character you grow to like, especially as he grows closer to Dr Cally Burr, a woman in a male profession. She soon becomes his confidante, trying to help decipher his episodes and the dreams he has following them. Even when she is placed in danger she is determined to help him. The interactions between the two of them are quite often the light in what otherwise would be a very dark tale

This book is full of twists that will have you suspecting everyone, including Hyde, after all he even believes himself capable of the violent murders that are occurring in the city. As he unearths secret societies and associations, legends, and myths it is easy to get lost in the investigations and wonder if the true culprit will ever be revealed. As the multiple investigations merge into one, the ending is one that you may not expect.

There is something about the writing style of this book that adds another dimension to this story, layering the tension right to the end. It has the vibe of the old gothic tales that will appeal to those who love these types of books whilst exploring human nature and minds at their worst. I will admit that this book was not a quick read for me but was well worth it as it kept my attention to the end.

About the Author

Craig Russell’s novels have been published in twenty-five languages, four have been made into major films in Germany, in one of which he has a cameo role as a detective. He has won the CWA Dagger in the Library and the McIlvanney Prize (for which he has been shortlisted another twice), and has previously been shortlisted for the CWA Golden Dagger, the Ellis Peters Historical Dagger, and the SNCF Prix Polar in France. A former police officer, Craig Russell is the only non-German to have been awarded the Polizeistern – the Hamburg Police’s Police Star. When not writing, Craig Russell paints, cooks and reads, but not simultaneously.