Others have been feeling unexplained urges, a drawing towards—towards strange old books that might give some enlightenment, some hope.
Hope, such that it is, arrives in the form of Inspector Royce of Scotland Yard. A deductivist. A man who might share with you details of the best cigar to light, so to mask the smell of a cadaver that died from this or that particular unpleasantness. But the man who brought down the dwarf murderers of Epsom forest and uncrucified the false-messiah of Hounslow has not before encountered a case such as this, where the otherworldliness defies his ability to explicate and handcuff it away. Can he solve the case of the Wentwood wrongskins?
In Creep, Jon Gower creates that palpable sense of the unknown, the otherside, that Machen too was known for. The characterful upside-left sayings and metaphors of the townsfolk make the real world real, just as the wrongskins creep all over it, leaving a trail of forbidden knowledge in their wake. As with Mrs. Richards’ horrific story-within-the-story (which perhaps wears the influence of Caradoc Evans), it is not clear whether this tale takes place a long, long time ago or if Jon is telling a story about now. It feels older, but the threat still feels present, creeping in the dark. The climax builds to a tense and gruesome scene reminiscent of Rob Zombie’s House of 1000 Corpses.
Read Creep, preferably before darkness falls, and you may be granted a glimpse, at the end, of that other shore where Machen and Lovecraft and Gower have dared to venture and return with tales of the unknowable.
Limited copies of Creep are available from Three Impostors here: http://www.threeimpostors.co.uk/CREEP
Future Wentwood Tales releases, featuring the work of Matthew G. Rees, Catherine Fisher, Horatio Clare and Tom Bullough, are in the pipeline.
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