Monday, 11 February 2013

David Haynes

David Haynes is fairly new on the Indie scene and this little quartet of linked short stories is a Victorian 'Penny Dreadful' style offering.  I enjoyed it very much.

Mask of the Macabre

Amazon .com Mask of the Macabre

My review -

This quartet of inter-related short stories is written in the Penny Dreadful style of Victorian melodrama and it pulls the style off very well. The language is measured and portentous; the dark alley-ways of Victorian London with their swirling mists are conjured up very evocatively. The stories are engaging but gruesome. They aren’t the slasher, bloodfest style of horror, although there’s blood in there aplenty. They are more the creepy, unpleasant and subtle kind of old fashioned horror which I very much enjoy.

There’s some lovely writing here; good descriptions of the night time scenes, the buildings, the people. David Haynes’ writing is showing great fluency and his characters become three dimensional because of it. There’s the theatre performer whose show is more than it seems, a lunatic asylum patient, a photographer of the dead, producing the Memento Mori beloved of those times and almost, a return to the beginning.... One character in the book stood out for me and aroused my compassion but I can’t say more without spoiling the story. You’ll have to read it to find out! This is a little gem of its genre.

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