A cunningly plotted mystery thriller, Gothic Revival by Michael Mullin tells the story of a group of friends who haven't met each other for twenty years. They were close friends when they studied Creative Writing back then. Now, Chris, Anne, Fiona, and Lauren are invited by their friend, Eric Asher, to an isolated villa by the lake. Mimicking the gathering of Victorian friends that resulted in the creation of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, Eric asks his friends to write a ghost story. However, he has other plans, and as time passes by, his friends begin to unveil Eric's lies, and gripped by fear, they question their loyalty and friendship. Eric has a sinister plan for this group of friends, but can they navigate themselves out of it unscathed?
Suspense, intrigue, and betrayal are some of the elements that elevate the quality of the writing and Mullin's plotting. Eric is a character that readers will be keen to follow — a lying, manipulative sociopath. Through streams of consciousness, Mullin succeeds to portray the psyche of the characters, deftly developing the conflict, especially in the relationship between Anne and Chris. These characters are genuinely flawed, each written with unique character traits. Gothic Revival reserves many surprises for readers; in turn, a slow-burn and intensely suspenseful tale, it features characters that are believable, sophisticated, and finely drawn. This is a nuanced story that will appeal to a wider audience.