Saturday, August 8, 2009

Necroscope Harry and The Pirate and Other Tales by Brian Lumley

Necroscope Harry and The Pirate and Other Tales by Brian Lumley

This book is a set of two novellas and a short story. Brian Lumley is a good enough and popular enough writer where almost everything he has written gets published. He is a British Fantasy Award winning author. There is a touch of the analytical in his writing. He adds a bit of espionage, skulduggery, and historical analysis to weird tales about things from other worlds, mythical beasts, and horrors from the ancient past.

The main character, Harry Keogh, is a psychic who can speak to the dead, a necroscope. However, he also has a very deductive mind much like a detectives as well. The way Harry talks to the dead is rather interesting. Often the dead make references to many things which have happened in the historical past.

In the first novella, The Dead Travel Slowly, Harry contends with a thing from the ancient past. Lovers have been disappearing from the woods for many years. I especially like when Harry visits the local museum to uncover newspaper stories about the creature. There is a sense that Brian Lumley took local settings in the English countryside he had visited and put them into his story.

The second novella has Harry Keogh talking to dead pirates in a graveyard. It includes references to Port Royale, Edward Teach (Black Beard), and viking raiders. It is clear Brian Lumley read some pirate stories to make the stories have the original flavor. It is a story of lust , greed, and something terribly strange.

The stories are interesting because of the strange creatures, historical allusions, and skulduggery. This is a nice way to spend several afternoons reading. It is pure escapism. The stories are more suspenseful and entertaining than scary.

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