Review - "Vertigo" by Michael Mandrake
Dark tale of obsessive love
Dr. Hayden Curry is alone. He's had to institutionalize his lover, and his work - examining the natural and unnatural world - is a lonely and hard world. The London of 1916 is a very conservative place, and his unnatural bent leave him hiding big parts of himself.
When he is called in to examine a strange creature, part man and part animal, he is fascinated. He brings the carcass home to examine and is stunned when it turns out to be alive still. And when it turns human, into a beautiful man named David, he doesn't know what to think.
Especially when David cannot remember his past and forms an immediate connection and attraction to Hayden.
Hayden agrees to help David find out how he came to be, where he came from, and what he is. And in the meanwhile, the two fast become lovers. Companions.
But when David's secrets start to surface, and the truth of his past come to light, will the Hayden still want to be with him? Or will it be too much?
Michael Mandrake has written a very interesting, dark and twisted tale of romantic obsession here. It's very reminiscent of a Mary Shelley or Bram Stoker novel, and that's a very good thing. The very old fashioned feel to the prose makes the horror of the book so much sweeter, and the whole atmosphere just...works.
This is at heart a love story, and some love stories turn dark. Without giving away too much, there are hard choices to be made here, and horrible things have been done. This is not a light or sweet tale, but a heavy and philosophically dark tale.
Mr. Mandrake nailed this story. It has the feel of foggy moors and creatures hiding in the shadows. Creepy and romantic and shivery.
Curl up under the blankets and read. And enjoy.