Isis by Douglas Clegg

Stepping into the pages of Isis is like stepping back in time as Douglas Clegg recreates the feeling of a good old fashioned ghost story. When Iris Villiers is involved in a tragic accident with her brother Harvey, she loses not only a close relation but her closest friend. So when she finds a way to bring her brother back what will she do? With references to Egyptian mythology she takes on the role of Isis.

This is a lovely little novella with a compelling writing style that fits a lot into a few pages, readers of Clegg’s work will also note that this is a prequel to Iris’ later adventures in Hudson Valley Academy. A tale of love, loss, innocence and the dangers of getting what you wish for. Of course critics will say that the themes are very close to those explored in “The Monkey’s Paw” W.W. Jacobs classic short story and they would be right, but there is enough originality on display here to bring a freshness to that idea.

Glenn Chadbourne’s marvellous line drawings illuminate the text and add an even greater level of gothic horror/fairytale detail to proceeding but it is Clegg’s beautifully crafted prose that wins the day. The mysterious atmosphere, well developed characters and dark, brooding style all contribute to an enjoyable modern classic.

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Filed under fiction, horror

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