The Dark Return of Time
by R.B. Russell
Review by Mario Guslandi
The Swan River Press Hardcover ISBN/ITEM#: 9781783800018
Date: 01 May 2014
Publisher, illustrator, musician, RB Russell is an mult-talented man and an eclectic writer, so much so that his own fiction is impossible to label. Mostly inclined to deal with the strange, the slightly horrific, the subtly disquieting side of life, this time Russell addresses mystery and the noir but, once again, in a peculiar way which blends with the paranormal.
The novella features a young Englishman relocated to Paris with his father, running an English bookshop. After witnessing the violent abduction of a man and a woman, whose bodies will be later found in the Seine, Flavian becomes obsessed about two other British witnesses who fled the scene: Reginald Hopper, a wealthy but disreputable character who becomes an assiduous and generous customer of the bookshop, and Candy Smith, a weird woman who in the past tried to kill Hopper and was convicted for attempted murder.
Hopper asks the librarians to secure him a copy of an elusive, quite rare book (The Dark Return of Time), the author and the content of which are unknown. The book will be traced and its mysterious nature will cast some new light and many more shadows on the lives of the involved characters.
As customary with Russell's work, the book is a real pleasure to read due to the elegant narrative style, the allusive and disturbing atmosphere and the author's ability to question reality as it appears and to challenge the reader's imagination and knowledge of the universe.
Yet another little gem in the catalog of the classy Irish imprint Swan River Press.