A creaky old house, a vanishing girl clad in white, a reclusive horror writer, and that eerie sense of entering an empty room that you’re certain someone just vacated — all of these unsettling facets enclose Jacqueline Baker’s latest spooky page-turner, The Broken Hours. When Arthor Crandle answers a posting to work as the personal assistant of the now broke and ill H.P. Lovecraft, a disturbing mystery unfolds before him as he begins to uncover his employer’s haunted past.
Author Jacqueline Baker, an English and creative writing professor at MacEwan University, is no rookie to the horror genre, having previously written a short-story collection and a novel set in the haunted landscapes of Alberta’s history. Baker moves her writing east to Providence, Rhode Island, for The Broken Hours, as her new novel covers a period in Lovecraft’s final years. She spent a great deal of time researching the iconic writer and reading his old letters in order to capture the man accurately. As she fell more into his life and universe, she says that she wrestled a bit with her own sanity like Lovecraft did, and once even felt a ghostly visit from the author while she slept.
In her literary horror novel, you’ll discover — as Baker and Crandle do — that the monsters didn’t only live in Lovecraft’s stories. This is the perfect summer read, as each creepy detail that pops up will keep your eyes glued to the pages. Though the mysteries seem to be as numerous as Cthulhu’s tentacles, Baker wraps them all up tidily in a satisfying ending that may lead you to sleep with a light on.