By Charles Winecoff
Updated May 01, 1998 at 04:00 AM EDT

The Uncanny

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  • Book
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Klavan, an Edgar award-winning author of contemporary crime thrillers, tries to defy literary typecasting with this creaky gothic ghost story about a horror-movie producer, Richard Storm, who puts his Hollywood career on hold to visit England in search of an authentic supernatural experience — or, as he puts it, ”one lousy uncanny thing.” In England he immediately falls for buxom aristocrat Barbara Steele, whose family history conveniently includes a haunted abbey, cursed art, and witchcraft. All of this is interspersed with a number of highfalutin belletristic allusions and some of the purplest prose since H.P. Lovecraft; at times the dialogue in The Uncanny becomes blood-curdlingly embarrassing. Perhaps Klavan should have titled his book The Corny.

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The Uncanny

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