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Thursday 12 October 2017

Book review - gothic novella

The Strange Fate of Lord Bruton 

E-books have breathed new life into the novella narrative form. Some stories are too long to be short stories yet they can be told in less than a novel length. This is a prime example, packed with atmosphere and compelling storytelling.

Lord Bruton is, as his name implies, a brute. 

Despite the narrator knowing him, he retains a fascination for the flawed man. 

It begins when Bruton hires the butler Ellery, who seems impervious to his lordship’s extravagant behaviour. It was as though Ellery possessed a mesmerising ability. Indeed, slowly but surely, as the story unfolds, Ellery seemed to become the dominant player in the relationship.

This is an excellent gothic tale, revealing a battle of wills between two fascinating and well-drawn characters. 

There may be an echo of Rob Maugham’s The Servant (1948), but the tale still retains its originality, and grips you until the very end.

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