Welcome to my stop on the Sam Hurcom blog tour for his latest book, Letters From The Dead. This is a perfect piece of modern Gothic literature, here to brighten up your cold November days. Fluffy blankets and cups of hot tea (or hot toddy) essential. With it being exactly a month until Christmas today, I feel like I’m bringing you an early Christmas gift with this beautiful book.
1905. A year after ‘the affair’ in Dinas Powys, Thomas Bexley has become a drunkard and recluse, haunted by terrible visions of the dead. But when news of a spate of extraordinary kidnappings reaches him, Thomas is shocked to learn that his dear friend and former mentor, Professor Elijah Hawthorn, is the lead suspect.
Discovering a plea for help from Hawthorn claiming to have unearthed a gruesome conspiracy at the heart of the Metropolitan Police, Thomas embarks on a journey to prove Hawthorn’s innocence.
But wherever Thomas goes, he is followed by the dead, and as the mystery of Hawthorn’s disappearance deepens, so too does Thomas’s apparent insanity…
How can Thomas be certain of the truth when he can’t trust anybody around him, not even himself…?
I love a good Gothic read, and this book was perfect for that. It was so atmospheric, and the characterization of Thomas is written so clearly that it was easy to slip into his troubled mind. It was so believable at times that when putting it down, it took almost a few minutes of adjusting before I could function back as myself. And I LOVE it when a book does that to me, when I can get so lost in the pages that it feels real. In this case, ‘real’ at times meant bloody terrifying, but it was wonderful nonetheless.
The plot has been so carefully thought through, and this is evident with each page you turn. It’s an immaculately executed story that uses twists and turns of not just the story, but of human nature, to propel it along at a riveting pace.
Without sharing spoilers – my reviews are always spoiler free – what I will say is that this book escalates on a steady incline, and it gets to a point where you’re questioning everything Thomas is saying, witnessing and feeling, wondering both if it is real, and if it is the impact of his addiction. Adding in the historical fiction element, which gives both a psychological and practical extra layer to how things are functioning, and this book comes together as an absolute triumph of modern Gothic literature.
My thanks to Orion Books for my copy of Letters From The Dead, and my thanks also to the author as always.