The Arthur Moreau Story by Guy Booth
|The Arthur Moreau Story by Guy Booth
|Reviewer: Sue Magee
|Summary: A horror and a mystery which can be read on two levels and both are terrifying. Guy Booth popped into Bookbag Towers to chat to us.
|Date: September 2011
|Publisher: Arena Books
You could be forgiven for thinking that Johnny Debrett is an unlikely hero, given his occupation as a seller of second hand books, but he has some illustrious connections, not least to Sir Frederick Appleby. Some say that he runs the country and Appleby's deputy, Peter Tyndale is married to Debrett's sister, Celia. Our tale began many years before with some two hundred mysterious and widely reported deaths on a French island which hadn't elicited a single cry of grief from a relative, but we join the story as Appleby asks Debrett to attend the funeral in France of a former business partner, Arthur Moreau. There are, apparently, some unresolved queries about Moreau and despite Debrett's estrangement from the deceased over recent years he's thought to be the person best able to obtain the answers.
It seemed an innocuous suggestion and little enough to do for the man who devoted so much of himself to the country, but it set Debrett, who narrates our story, and his assistant, Thomas in the midst of a terrifying mystery. It's not long before they realise that people (if you can call them such) are being cloned at various centres throughout the world, but why is no one - and certainly not the national governments - aware of the massive installations where the kadets are produced? Most importantly, what is the ultimate aim and who is behind it?
It's a book which you can read on more than one level. If your taste is for horror, for debauchery, sadism and violence then you will find it here. Much of what Debrett and his allies encounter is gut churning: legions of kadets are not produced - or disposed of - nicely, world domination usually requires that the end justifies the means and sexual sadism - particularly homosexual sadism - is not for the faint hearted. On the other hand you can read The Arthur Moreau Story as the ongoing fight between good and evil - but you'll still need a strong stomach, not least because it should make you wonder how the criminally insane can reach positions of power in society.
Characterisations of the males - and particularly those I thought of as 'the old queens' is good and at times very good - with the women being rather less rounded. I'm not certain that this matters too much as women tend to be bit players, even when they're film stars. The horror in the book is overwhelming in places but there's still a decent mystery at the heart of the story and I certainly didn't see the final twist as it came along. I liked the writing style too - Guy Booth has an excellent turn of phrase: a waltzing chaos of dainty gilt chairs as a ship foundered particularly stuck in the mind.
I'd like to thank the author for sending a copy to the Bookbag.
You can read more about Guy Booth here.
For more horror we can recommend Zone One by Colson Whitehead.
Guy Booth was kind enough to be interviewed by Bookbag.
You can read more book reviews or buy The Arthur Moreau Story by Guy Booth at Amazon.co.uk Amazon currently charges £2.99 for standard delivery for orders under £20, over which delivery is free.
You can read more book reviews or buy The Arthur Moreau Story by Guy Booth at Amazon.com.
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