Edward Hyde has a strange gift-or a curse-he keeps secret from all but his physician. He experiences two realities, one real, the other a dreamworld state brought on by a neurological condition.
When murders in Victorian Edinburgh echo the ancient Celtic threefold death ritual, Captain Edward Hyde hunts for those responsible. In the process he becomes entangled in a web of Celticist occultism and dark scheming by powerful figures. The answers are there to be found, not just in the real world but in the sinister symbolism of Edward Hyde's otherworld.
He must find the killer, or lose his mind.
I love the age old story of Jekyll and Hyde and when I read the description for this, I couldn't wait to see what refreshing take Russell would have on this well known horror.
Hyde is a dark supernatural thriller that really gets under your skin. It is not another retelling of Jekyll and Hyde and for this I loved it even more. It is a completely refreshing take on a classic story that really gets into the head of the reader.
One thing I really loved about this was the very beginning and end where Hyde is talking to his good friend Robert Louis Stevenson. Stevenson is the author of the original The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde book, so I thought that was a very clever nod to the original story and gave the book an extra level of depth.
The writing is fantastic. It is really atmospheric and you feel like you are walking the streets of a dark and haunted Victorian Edinburgh. From the descriptions of the buildings to the haunting manor in the highlands to eerie and creepy nights in the city, you really felt transported from where you were sitting and like you were watching this world unfold in front of your eyes. As well as a fantastic narrative, the characters are also very strong. I really liked how Hyde was depicted and thought he was an excellent protagonist. You really wanted to get under the surface and learn more about him but Russell skilfully kept a certain sense of mystery around the main character. I also really liked Cally - I am always going to be a fan of the strong willed and independent female character who doesn't conform to society's expectations.
The underlying supernatural theme that runs throughout the story is excellent. I love the link to Celtic myths and it really made me feel connected to home in a way (I'm Irish). The magical sense around the story wasn't to far in either extreme: not over the top with the hocus pocus but also strong enough that you could sense the mystery around these myths and legends throughout the book.
The final 20% of the book had some surprises that I wasn't expecting and I really enjoyed them! However I did feel the ending was a little rushed and it felt like a chapter was missing between the two final chapters. Everything happened very quickly and then it was done.
Overall, this is a creepy gothic thriller that will really get under your skin. Whether or not you are familiar or a fan of the story of Jekyll and Hyde, I would definitely give this a read. It is a really refreshing take on a classic and is also a story that will pose some important questions about our inner demons and how far we can go to suppress them.
A big thank you to Net Galley for letting me read it before it was published!
IN 3 WORDS/PHRASES:
'The truth is, darkness and light share the world, but sometimes it is the darkness that shines brightest.'
Cally Burr, she seemed like a total bad ass, especially for a woman at that time. Really liked her.