2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
A classic - recommended for any fan of supernatural fiction.,
This review is from: The Devil Rides Out (Duke De Richleau Book 6) (Kindle Edition)
I've been a major fan of horror and supernatural fiction for most of my life and it's probably The Devil Rides Out that gave me a taste for the macabre and magical. One of the first novels I read and I'd forgotten just how good it is.
Yes, it's true, the novel's aged and does seem naive compared to modern, contemporary horror fiction but I still find the ritualistic elements extremely well written and that's possibly because Wheatley was so determined to get it right he spent time with some of the most infamous occultists of the age to deepen his own understanding.
So, what's it about? The principle character of Duke de Richleau, wealthy nobleman, discovers his friend Simon has gone missing and over time it's revealed Simon may well be under the influence of a particularly nasty Black Magic sect. It's here the plot really begins to move along with some great scraps, physical and magical, being fought over Simon's soul. The subplot of someone really unpleasant being conjured up from the depths adds even more tension and intrigue.
Packed with atmosphere and the 1930's are wonderfully evoked in the clipped, polite dialogue and the general 'niceness' of the characters who are such a mix of the wealthy and the downright eccentric.
I would recommend any fan of the supernatural to read this classic. It's neither particularly scary or unnerving by today's standards but it's beautifully written with wonderfully descriptive passages concerning magic, deception and the fight for good over bad. Once you've finished with this story you might feel tempted to try 'To the Devil a Daughter' - I was.
So happy to have had the opportunity to revisit.