The story of how I came to read Interlands is sort of interesting in of itself. I was in Providence for NecronomiCon when I met Vincent O’Neil. When he told me had written a Lovecraftian horror-novel set in Providence, I was sold. And I’m glad I was. Interlands is a wonderful read brimming with mystery and suspense.
The synopsis from Amazon:
In Providence, Rhode Island, graduate student Angie Morse has discovered evidence that an ancient stone obelisk worshiped by a colonial-era cult is still in existence. Hoping to finish her studies with a career-boosting headline, she’s combing the woods to find it.
As she digs into the history of the obelisk and the cult that perished at its feet, she’s plagued by bizarre events and shadowy figures from her college days. The more time she spends in the ghostly forests outside the city, the more Angie starts to suspect the obelisk is exerting the same influence on her that doomed so many others.
Two strengths separate Interlands from other reads. The first is Angie. She’s a wonderful, believable, sympathetic hero. We are immediately on her side. We want to see her succeed. We are worried about her when she’s in danger, and we are rooting for her to come out the other side OK. It goes without saying that a book without a strong lead cannot survive, but Angie helps take Interlands to another level entirely.
The other strength is the plot itself. It’s been said that the best horror begins with an imminently believable and perhaps even mundane premise. Angie is hunting for the obelisk not because of its mystical connotations, but because she needs to find it to complete her master’s thesis. The story starts off slow, building suspense and tension and slowly drawing us in. I don’t have a fireplace, but I imagine lying on the couch in front of one would be the best place to enjoy Interlands. It’s one of those books that should be savored, rather than devoured.
All in all, I really found myself enjoying this book. I’d recommend it not only to Lovecraftians out there looking for what is essentially a love letter to Providence, but also to anyone who enjoys a good mystery and a lead character you can care about.