*COPY PROVIDED BY BLACK AND WHITE PUBLISHING*
The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde Continues...
Seven years after the death of Edward Hyde, a stylish gentleman shows up in foggy London claiming to be Dr Henry Jekyll. Only Mr Utterson, Jekyll’s faithful lawyer and confidant, knows that he must be an impostor – because Jekyll was Hyde. But as the man goes about charming Jekyll's friends and reclaiming his estate, and as the bodies of potential challengers start piling up, Utterson is left fearing for his life ... and questioning his own sanity.
This brilliantly imagined and beautifully written sequel to one of literature's greatest masterpieces perfectly complements the original work. And where the original was concerned with the duality of man, this sequel deals with the possibility of identity theft of the most audacious kind. Can it really be that this man who looks and acts so precisely like Dr Henry Jekyll is an imposter?
O'Neill brilliantly captures the essence of Robert Louis Stevenson's classic in this long-awaited sequel to Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde that none of us knew we needed until we were given it
I confess, I barely knew the story of Jekyll & Hyde before this book appeared in my life. I saw the cover and became adamant I needed to read it, so when I found it on NetGalley months after publication and got approved, I made it my mission to finally read the classic that I've had on my shelf since 2015.
This is by no means a review of RLS's novella, but I will say that it surprised me how much I enjoyed it - although considering it's a mystery set in 1800s London it's no wonder I did. In fact, I loved Stevenson's writing so much I read the other novella, "The Bottle Imp" included in may edition also. However, we're here for Mr Seek.
Having read both books back to back, I am very impressed with O'Neill's ability to write in such a similar, complimentary way to the original whilst also being himself and not a complete rip off. He handles this classic tale and well-loved characters with respect and, although our main point of view, Utterson, has a complete personality change that some will not appreciate, there has been nearly a decade between each novel and thus it is only expected that a person will differ in some way. Personally, I didn't mind this difference as it added to the story and I thought it believable.
Taking on a story like this is difficult, and to suggest that Jekyll is back and rewrite the entirety of the original plot is absurd - but boy oh boy does Dr Jekyll and Mr Seek do it well! There is no clear answer at the end of the book as to what has happened. It feels finished and wrapped up but then there are little hints to there being a different story and I just love it. O'Neill has cleverly found a subtle way to keep the mystery going. It's a nice way to keep the story alive in our hearts without upsetting the narrative or finality of Stevenson's book.
I cannot reiterate how impressed I am with this book nor can I explain why I didn't pick this up back in September. I urge fans of the original to pick this up - don't be scared of it. I equally urge those, like me, who were scared of the original to give it a go and then read this one - you'll be pleasantly surprised. And for those who haven't a clue who Jekyll and Hyde are, let alone Mr Seek, but want to read this and not the classic, O'Neill incorporates the backstory into this very well and integrates it into his own narrative discreetly, so those who know the story need not be bored by a reiteration of things they know well.
All in all, I am blown away by this book and I did not expect to enjoy it as much as I did. I look forward to more from Anthony in the future - although I do hope he continues writing in the past because he does it so incredibly well. Continue transporting me to Victorian times and wherever else, please!!