Written by: Paula Limbaugh
Two for the price of one! Stephen Bacon and Mark West have given us two novellas that are quite different in the telling but have a common thread. Both stories can stand alone, but I find it a much more interesting read when being able to see each one’s take on the subject at hand… The Lost Film.
With Lantern House, Stephen gives us a story akin to a classic Vincent Price movie. The dark, brooding atmosphere, the cryptic characters, the hero, all adding to the mystery of a strong tale. Although the story takes place in modern times, there is a gothic air that lends to the prevailing gloom one feels while reading.
The protagonist here is Paul Madigan. He has been given the chance to interview an idol of his, Lionel Rutherford. Lionel was at the top of his game when he mysteriously dropped out of the filmmaking scene. Paul, along with a woman he just met, who, by the way, has her own secret agenda, make their way to the island where Lionel resides. Along with their arrival is a storm which strands them without a way to communicate with the mainland.
Soon, strange occurrences begin. Old Lionel has more than just his old films locked away in his screening room, much more. There is an evil hidden in the room just waiting to be released.
Mark West’s tale takes on a different feel. The Lost Film introduces us to Gabriel Bird, a private investigator who has been hired to find one Roger Sinclair. Roger was a filmmaker back in the 60s and 70s, during the time of Lionel Rutherford’s heyday. But, Roger disappeared one day along with his film that was to be his pièce de résistance.
Rumor has it that those who were involved with the film have all met with ill-will. What at first seemed like a simple missing person case, has now been steeped in madness. As Gabriel seeks out those who may have information on Roger he begins to sense there is a lot more to the story than what he was told. Too late in the search, Gabriel realizes it’s his own sanity now at stake.
Both of these stories are brilliantly done, I really think you should pick up a copy here!