Reviews, Scottish Reads


Edward Hyde has a strange gift-or a curse-he keeps secret from all but his physician. He experiences two realities, one real, the other a dreamworld state brought on by a neurological condition.

When murders in Victorian Edinburgh echo the ancient Celtic threefold death ritual, Captain Edward Hyde hunts for those responsible. In the process he becomes entangled in a web of Celticist occultism and dark scheming by powerful figures. The answers are there to be found, not just in the real world but in the sinister symbolism of Edward Hyde’s otherworld.

He must find the killer, or lose his mind.

A dark tale. One that inspires Hyde’s friend . . . Robert Louis Stevenson.

I bought this book as it was the winner of the McIlvanney award in 2021 and I’d loved the 2020 winner. This awards goes to the Scottish Crime book of the year so I felt that this felt as good a reason as any to choose a book. I was instantly drawn to the plot as I was very into Jekyll and Hyde as a kid and still am. I was hoping that this would be a creepy and chilling tale. I gave this book 4 stars but it’s definitely more like a 4.5, I really enjoyed it!

I enjoyed the main characters. Hyde had a dark past and he was very sympathetic. He was desperate to understand what was happening to him. My favourite character was the Lady Doctor called Calley (I say this because everyone kept being shocked by her being a lady because it was the past). I didn’t just like her because my name is Caley and what’s an extra ‘L’ between friends? I liked her because she was strong and confident and brave in a time where women were thought of as feeble and less intelligent that their male counterparts.

This book was as creepy as I’d hoped! I don’t like scary but I enjoy gothic horror which this felt like. My fear levels are that of a Victorian with a sickly pallor! I enjoyed the darkness of this book and the sacrifices and cult elements were chilling!

The book was jam packed full of twists and turns. There was a cult, murders, missing people, stalkers, missing memories etc. I loved trying to work out of these were all related or not. I made so many guesses and they were all wrong which I enjoyed.

Despite this book being quite dark, there were moments of lightness and joviality. The comments about the lack of pockets in womenswear was a personal favourite!

I really enjoyed this book and I’m not usually one for books set from the police point of view. Although historical policing is ok, I think I just get annoyed when they do things they shouldn’t. Victorian authorities were pretty loose with the rules so I didn’t get annoyed (I do not think that being loose with the rules is a good thing for authorities, I just mean for plot accuracy). Although, maybe I just like the baddies? I’m definitely going to keep an eye on the shortlist for the 2022 award as I’ve not been let down by it yet!

1 thought on “Hyde”

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