In 1919, the Arcanum, a secret society composed of Konstantine Duvall, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Harry Houdini, H.P. Lovecraft, and Marie Laveau, is mostly defunct until founder Duvall is mysteriously killed on a London street. Doyle notices that one of Duvall’s artifacts, the Book of Enoch, is missing and travels to New York to convince the rest of the Arcanum to help catch the murderer. Doyle finds Lovecraft in prison, accused of gruesome murders, and soon Doyle is suspected as an accomplice. Reluctantly, Houdini agrees to assist with freeing Lovecraft and solving the horrific crimes. What was once revenge becomes an effort to save humanity.
Wheeler’s depiction of the legendary characters is true to their reputations, and the appearance of additional famous characters and literary references is enjoyable, despite some disturbing imagery. The short chapters jump from scene to scene, but instead of being distracting, they build the momentum as the members of the Arcanum perform their specific tasks necessary to solve the mystery.
This is a riveting book filled with occultism that begs to be read at one sitting with all the lights on.