This was an unexpected treat. Jonathan Janz has found a way to channel the past. A lot of times when an author attempts to write, particularly at novel length, in the language and vernacular of an earlier time, the results are mixed. Janz does an admirable job of telling his tale without dropping character in the overly dramatic style I remember so well from the piles of dark, Gothic romances I remember sneaking away from my aunt and my mother when I was young.
Of course, this is much, much darker than those books were, heading into the realms of Poe and H. G. Wells, Mary Shelly and more. Elements of the plot that seem disconnected come together as the story unfolds, revealing layer after layer of intrigue. An American author named Pearce is lured to an ancestral home near a dark keep. First one, and then another odd character draws his attention until he, and the family who have invited him into their home, are drawn into darkness they could not have dreamed of.
This is a short book, and the action hits hard, and fast, never letting up once it’s begun to gather speed. This is where The Dismembered diverges from the Gothic formula. The books I remember would have drawn this out to three hundred slow-burn pages, the Janz drags you through it as if carried by dark literary lightning.
For a change of pace and something very entertaining, this is highly recommended.