This is a book that makes you check that you've locked the front door. And then, when you've turned off the lights, and you're ready to turn in, you go downstairs (somewhat nervously) just to be extra certain that you're safe. This is not because Richard T. Kelly's second novel is gory, explicit and soaked in blood: in fact its power lies in its restraint, in what's missing - but then consider the cliched truth that Hitchcock's "Psycho" grips and terrifies precisely because of its restraint. I've never been this scared by a book: it got into my head and hasn't shifted - and I can only recommend that you give it some space too.
It's a homage to, and an update of, the Victorian Gothic novel - and much more. The title suggests "Dr. Jekyll and Mr Hyde", but it also suggests "Doctor Faustus" and Dostoyevsky's "The Possessed" (or "The Devils", as it's often translated), and the novel is as rich in allusion and reference as the title, taking in Dante, Baudelaire, David Cronenberg and (it sometimes seems) every point in between. But this is no dry, academic pastiche - it is a proper page-turning thriller and horror story about friendship, love and the forces that control and "possess" us.
I can't do justice to Kelly's prose style: it's steeped in muscular, nineteenth century construction, but it's unfussy, clear and direct. His ear for dialogue is bang on and (unusually for this genre) his female characters are every bit as compelling and vivid as the men.
It's a thriller, so I won't go into the plot,other than to say that it twists and turns as satisfyingly and as unpredictably as one could wish. And it is properly frightening: this isn't campy horror cliches - this is Evil with a capital "E" and it's as irresistible, compelling and unforgettable as that sounds.
So: I can only urge you to read it. However the above might read, "The Possessions of Doctor Forrest" wears its learning lightly, and creates something dark, modern and terrifying from it. Brilliant.