Pride goes before a fall…
Within the first few lines, Christopher Long sets the scene. Already, you feel as if you know the measure of the man who is Wendell Pruce. ostentatious and a bit self-centred, yes- but bad, no.
This story does nothing for British coastal living, as the village is portrayed as esoteric and very creepy. Wendell tries to insinuate himself into village life by meeting the locals and finding out more about his new home. We already know there is something sinister in the air, but Wendell is blissfully unaware. In fact, he keeps bounding heedlessly along dismissing everyone’s warnings as yokel superstitions.
Wendell’s nemesis comes in the form of a wooden gate at the end of his property. Already warned about not going through it- he ignores everyone and even the runic carvings and goes through it.
Christopher Long is a master at creating a terrifying yarn about those things we see out of the corner of our eyes. Is it there? Did I really just see that? Is it coming to get me? Only those questions get answered when it is too late and your doom is sealed.
The Restoration of Wendell Pruce, blends aspects of the “Wicker man” and “The shadow over Innsmouth”, to create a spine-tingling macabre tale of terror in true Lovecraftian style. The paranoia is as real as the anticipation of disconcerting dread that Long creates.
Never before have I been so freaked out from reading a book before. I was on the edge of my seat, palms sweating, heart racing, clinging on to that book for dear life. I just couldn’t put it down until I knew what happened.
Included in the book is Part Two of the serial “The Righteous Judges: 2nd Judgement: The Pale Daughter. Part One can be read in Christopher Long’s début “The Compressionist”. There is also a bonus short story “The Reluctant Corpse” and a hilarious interview with the author.