Gibbous House Paperback – 12 Jan 2017
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A dark and thrilling Gothic Noir set in Victorian London and at the mysterious Northumbrian estate of Gibbous House.
About the Author
Ewan Lawrie spent 23 years in the Royal Air Force. He began writing during long boring flights over desert countries. His stories and poetry have been published in several anthologies. Gibbous House is his first novel.
Top customer reviews
This is partly whodunit, partly whydunit, and partly who-the-hell-dun-what-to whom. Lawrie uses all the devices with relish – an evidently unreliable narrator, a mysterious house, a grim landscape, letters, diaries, secret passages and grotesque (in all senses of the word) characters. Amongst all this there are moments which stop the reader in their tracks, particularly the scenes in the madhouse. There are lovely nods to classic authors – Dickens, Collins, Shelley, Stoker et al – and a character named Edgar Allen. This can be a very rich mixture; occasionally Lawrie’s sheer exuberance, love and knowledge of the genre result in the reader feeling there are probably several dozen other references or in jokes they haven’t quite got. It doesn’t matter. The plot is devious, the characters larger than life, the writing accomplished and enthralling. A book for fireside reading, preferably with a glass of madeira and long shadows flickering in the corners.
I struggled on to page 245 and gave up, for two main reasons: it's far too long and self-indulgent (possibly the result of having been serialised online) and I was almost screaming, "For God's sake, get on with it!". The other main reason was the purple prose: I love the richness of the English language and its half-forgotten vocabulary, but my initial delight at words such as 'crepuscular' and 'micturition' gradually turned to irritation because the author seemed to have swallowed and then regurgitated a thesaurus, merely for effect. And ultimately I couldn't have cared less what happened to any of the characters, nor was I eager to discover the secret(s) of Gibbous House.
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