cover image The Eldritch Equations and Other Investigations

The Eldritch Equations and Other Investigations

Peter Rawlik. Jackanapes, $21.99 (270p) ISBN 978-1-956702-07-1

Rawlik (Reanimators) once again channels H.P. Lovecraft and the Cthulhu-verse in this perplexing mishmash. Private detectives Megan Halsey-Griffith, Robert Peaslee, and Roman Lydecker each take turns narrating as they investigate supernatural shenanigans in 1928 “witch-haunted” Arkham, Mass. Chief among these paranormal conundrums are the mysterious serial deaths of students from the same class as Walter Gilman, the protagonist of Lovecraft’s “The Dreams in the Witch House,” whose transgression of the boundaries of space and time led to his own grisly end. The detectives’ adventures in sleuthing allow Rawlik to splice in an overwhelming number of subplots referencing other Lovecraft works alongside nods to a vast number of Lovecraft’s characters. Unfortunately, the author provides very little necessary context for these allusions and sometimes fails even to clarify their relevance to the tale at hand. The result feels less like a fresh addition to the Cthulhu mythos and more like fan fiction loosely knit together from many disparate threads. Only the most diehard Lovecraft aficionados need apply. (Nov.)