The Jekyll Revelation

Robert Masello. 47 North, $14.95 ISBN 978-1-5039-5119-8
The coincidence of the opening of a stage adaptation of Robert Louis Stevenson’s Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde with the first Jack the Ripper murder provides an intriguing starting point for Masello’s engaging thriller. In 1894 on the island of Samoa, where Stevenson has moved for his health, the writer learns that a native woman has been butchered in the same way as the Ripper’s victims. Stevenson fears that the nightmare he thought had ended in Whitechapel has come halfway across the world “to resume its dreadful enterprise.” The focus shifts to an environmental scientist in present-day California, then back to Stevenson’s creation of his legendary personification of human evil in the late 19th century. The relevance of the present-day action isn’t immediately clear, but readers’ patience will be rewarded. The sections featuring Stevenson undergoing an experimental treatment at a Swiss medical facility are nicely creepy, and Masello (The Einstein Prophecy) tosses in quite a few surprises en route to a delightfully devilish conclusion. Agent: Cynthia Manson, Cynthia Manson Literary. (Nov.)
Reviewed on: 09/12/2016
Release date: 11/01/2016
Genre: Fiction
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