The Bone Key, a series of interconnected short stories, features Kyle Murchison Booth, a shy, introverted museum archivist, who seems to attract the supernatural. He is peculiar and socially inept. Booth’s family background is most unusual family. His parents died under unusual conditions and was reared by his father’s business partner, a cruel man with a cruel wife who treated with derision and abuse. He seems to finds himself regularly in the midst of the disturbing eerie experiences and strange necromantic mysteries. The stories had an Edwardian and Victorian feel; I was reminded of Lovecraft and M. R. James.
“Elegy for a Demon Lover” was the most affecting. Booth, lonely and solitary, meets his soul mate, Ivo. It seems that he has finally found love, a true companion. As time passes, thanks to his familiarity with necromancy, he realizes the truth: Ivo is an incubi, a demon in male form which takes the life from the human through sexual relations. Booth is able to recover from his addiction to Ivo who slowly fades away. It is heartbreaking, for Booth reflects that “he was the only one I have ever known who loved me for what I am.”
So, these stories are frightening, disquieting, and sad and very well written.